A randomized, parallel group, pragmatic comparative-effectiveness trial comparing medication-assisted treatment induction methods in primary care practices: The HOMER study protocol

PLoS One. 2023 Sep 8;18(9):e0290388. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0290388. eCollection 2023.


Opioid use disorder (OUD) represents a public health crisis in the United States. Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) with buprenorphine in primary care is a proven OUD treatment strategy. MOUD induction is when patients begin withdrawal and receive the first doses of buprenorphine. Differences between induction methods might influence short-term stabilization, long-term maintenance, and quality of life. This paper describes the protocol for a study designed to: (1) compare short-term stabilization and long-term maintenance treatment engagement in MOUD in patients receiving office, home, or telehealth induction and (2) identify clinically-relevant practice and patient characteristics associated with successful long-term treatment. The study design is a randomized, parallel group, pragmatic comparative effectiveness trial of three care models of MOUD induction in 100 primary care practices in the United States. Eligible patients are at least 16 years old, have been identified by their clinician as having opioid dependence and would benefit from MOUD. Patients will be randomized to one of three induction comparators: office, home, or telehealth induction. Primary outcomes are buprenorphine medication-taking and illicit opioid use at 30, 90, and 270 days post-induction. Secondary outcomes include quality of life and potential mediators of treatment maintenance (intentions, planning, automaticity). Potential moderators include social determinants of health, substance use history and appeal, and executive function. An intent to treat analysis will assess effects of the interventions on long-term treatment, using general/generalized linear mixed models, adjusted for covariates, for the outcomes analysis. Analysis includes practice- and patient-level random effects for hierarchical/longitudinal data. No large-scale, randomized comparative effectiveness research has compared home induction to office or telehealth MOUD induction on long-term outcomes for patients with OUD seen in primary care settings. The results of this study will offer primary care providers evidence and guidance in selecting the most beneficial induction method(s) for specific patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Buprenorphine* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Opioid-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design


  • Buprenorphine