Patient Satisfaction With Standard Methadone and Flexible Buprenorphine/Naloxone Models of Care: Results From a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

J Addict Med. 2023 Jan-Feb;17(1):e49-e56. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000001048. Epub 2022 Aug 2.


Introduction: Patient satisfaction is a critical measure of quality of care across health disciplines because it may affect clinical outcomes.

Objectives: This study aimed to examine longitudinal patient satisfaction in individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) randomized to receive either standard methadone or flexible buprenorphine/naloxone models of care, its predictors, and association with dropout/illicit drug use.

Methods: This study assessed patient satisfaction, using the 8-item version of the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ), as a secondary outcome of a large phase IV pragmatic randomized controlled trial (OPTIMA). The effectiveness of standard methadone model of care was compared with flexible take-home buprenorphine/naloxone dispensation model of care in patients with prescription-type OUD. Of 272 participants recruited and followed up for 24 weeks, 183 were eligible for this study.

Results: Throughout the study, patients were "satisfied" with their treatment. The average CSQ score was not significantly different between weeks 4, 12, and 24 in the total sample (χ 2 = 0.35; P = 0.84). There was no significant difference in CSQ based on treatment assignment (methadone vs flexible buprenorphine/naloxone) either overall ( z = 0.87; P = 0.38) or over time (χ 2 = 0.65; P = 0.72). High levels of depression at baseline and decreased depressive symptoms over the follow-up period predicted positive changes in patient satisfaction ( P = 0.03 and P = <0.01, respectively). Satisfaction was significantly associated with treatment retention but not illicit drug use.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that patients with OUD on either standard methadone or flexible buprenorphine were generally satisfied with their treatment, with no difference in patient satisfaction based on treatment allocation. Given the ongoing opioid crisis, strategies to improve patient satisfaction should be further explored.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase IV
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine* / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / methods
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / therapy
  • Patient Satisfaction


  • Methadone
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination
  • Buprenorphine
  • Analgesics, Opioid