Facilitators of and barriers to buprenorphine initiation for people with opioid use disorder in the emergency department: protocol for a scoping review

Author Department

Emergency Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Introduction: Buprenorphine-naloxone is recommended as a first-line agent for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Although initiation of buprenorphine in the emergency department (ED) is evidence based, barriers to implementation persist. A comprehensive review and critical analysis of both facilitators of and barriers to buprenorphine initiation in ED has yet to be published. Our objectives are (1) to map the implementation of buprenorphine induction pathway literature and synthesise what we know about buprenorphine pathways in EDs and (2) to identify gaps in this literature with respect to barriers and facilitators of implementation.

Methods and analysis: We will conduct a scoping review to comprehensively search the literature, map the evidence and identify gaps in knowledge. The review will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Protocols Extension for Scoping Reviews and guidance from the Joanna Briggs Institution for conduct of scoping reviews. We will search Medline, APA, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase and IBSS from 1995 to present and the search will be restricted to English and French language publications. Citations will be screened in Covidence by two trained reviewers. Discrepancies will be mediated by consensus. Data will be synthesised using a hybrid, inductive-deductive approach, informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research as well as critical theory to guide further interpretation.

Ethics and dissemination: This review does not require ethics approval. A group of primary knowledge users, including clinicians and people with lived experience, will be involved in the dissemination of findings including publication in peer-reviewed journals. Results will inform future research, current quality improvement efforts in affiliated hospitals, and aide the creation of a more robust ED response to the escalating overdose crisis.

Keywords: accident & emergency medicine; health services administration & management; public health; qualitative research; substance misuse.