Buprenorphine shared medical appointments for the treatment of opioid dependence in a homeless clinic

Sara L. Doorley, Cheryl J. Ho, Elizabeth Echeverria, Charles Preston, Huy Ngo, Ahmad Kamal, Chinazo O. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Opioid misuse and dependence are prevalent and rising problems in the United States. Treatment with buprenorphine is a successful treatment option for individuals with opioid dependence. This study describes and preliminarily evaluates a unique delivery system that provides buprenorphine treatment via a shared medical appointment. Methods: A retrospective medical record review on all 77 opioid-dependent patients referred for a buprenorphine shared medical appointment in a homeless clinic from 2010 to 2012. Results: Most patients were currently homeless (61%), unemployed (92%), had an Axis I psychiatric diagnosis (81%), and had recent polysubstance use (53%). Of the 77 patients, 95% attended at least 1 shared medical appointment. Treatment retention at 12 and 24 weeks was 86% and 70%, respectively. Conclusions: In a patient population with complex social and mental health histories, buprenorphine treatment via a shared medical appointment had high retention rates. Findings can help guide the development of unique delivery systems to serve real-world complex patients with opioid dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Buprenorphine
  • group visit
  • homeless
  • office-based treatment
  • shared medical appointment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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