Effect of Implementation Facilitation to Promote Adoption of Medications for Addiction Treatment in US HIV Clinics: A Randomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Oct 3;5(10):e2236904. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.36904.


Importance: Medications for addiction treatment (MAT) are inconsistently offered in HIV clinics.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of implementation facilitation (hereafter referred to as "facilitation"), a multicomponent implementation strategy, on increasing provision of MAT for opioid use disorder (MOUD), alcohol use disorder (MAUD), and tobacco use disorder (MTUD).

Design, setting, and participants: Conducted from July 26, 2016, through July 25, 2020, the Working with HIV Clinics to adopt Addiction Treatment using Implementation Facilitation (WHAT-IF?) study used an unblinded, stepped wedge design to sequentially assign each of 4 HIV clinics in the northeastern US to cross over from control (ie, baseline practices) to facilitation (ie, intervention) and then evaluation and maintenance periods every 6 months. Participants were adult patients with opioid, alcohol, or tobacco use disorder. Data analysis was performed from August 2020 to September 2022.

Interventions: Multicomponent facilitation.

Main outcomes and measures: Outcomes, assessed using electronic health record data, were provision of MAT among patients with opioid, alcohol, or tobacco use disorder during the evaluation (primary outcome) and maintenance periods compared with the control period.

Results: Among 3647 patients, the mean (SD) age was 49 (12) years, 1814 (50%) were Black, 781 (22%) were Hispanic, and 1407 (39%) were female; 121 (3%) had opioid use disorder, 126 (3%) had alcohol use disorder, and 420 (12%) had tobacco use disorder. Compared with the control period, there was no increase in provision of MOUD with facilitation during the evaluation period (243 patients [27%; 95% CI, 22%-32%] vs 135 patients [28%; 95% CI, 22%-35%]; P = .59) or maintenance period (198 patients [29%; 95% CI, 22%-36%]; P = .48). The change in provision of MAUD from the control period to the evaluation period was not statistically significant (251 patients [8%; 95% CI, 5%-12%] vs 112 patients [13%; 95% CI, 8%-21%]; P = .11); however, the difference increased and became significant during the maintenance period (180 patients [17%; 95% CI, 12%-24%]; P = .009). There were significant increases in provision of MTUD with facilitation during both the evaluation (810 patients [33%; 95% CI, 30%-36%] vs 471 patients [40%; 95% CI, 36%-45%]; P = .005) and maintenance (643 patients [38%; 95% CI, 34%-41%]; P = .047) periods.

Conclusions and relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, facilitation led to increased provision of MTUD, delayed improvements in MAUD, and no improvements in MOUD in HIV clinics. Enhanced strategies, potentially including clinic and patient incentives, especially for MOUD, may be needed to further increase provision of MAT in HIV clinics.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02907944.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism*
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Tobacco Use Disorder*


  • Analgesics, Opioid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02907944