E-health tool identifies individuals at risk of opioid overdose

A psychoeducational tool identifies patients at risk for an opioid overdose but fails to motivate them to change their behavior. Findings are published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

As the opioid epidemic continues, the number of individuals who overdose is increasing. In this study, researchers examined the effect the ORION (Overdose RIsk InfOrmatioN) e-health tool could have on opioid abuse patients' behavior.

The ORION program provides relevant information for opioid-dependent individuals regarding the risk in overdosing as a result of high-risk behavior. Researchers enrolled 194 opioid-dependent, treatment-seeking individuals from across Europe. Data were collected pre- and post-software use.

 Results showed the ORION system was able to identify individuals at the highest risk and most in need of reducing their risk behaviors, but the tool was not able to influence self-efficacy.

“Nonetheless, the ORION tool is unique in its style and content of delivery, that is translating risks combination into a clear estimation, and will need further development such as (a) integration in smartphone-based e-health apps and (b) testing in other high-risk populations,” concluded first author Giuseppe Carrà, MD, PhD, and colleagues.