Prescribe to Save Lives: An Intervention to Increase Naloxone Prescribing Among HIV Clinicians

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Objectives: Overdose is a major cause of preventable death among persons living with HIV. This study aimed to increase HIV clinicians' naloxone prescribing, which can reduce overdose mortality.

Methods: We enrolled 22 Ryan White-funded HIV practices and implemented onsite, peer-to-peer training, posttraining academic detailing, and pharmacy peer-to-peer contact around naloxone prescribing in a nonrandomized stepped wedge design. Human immunodeficiency virus clinicians completed surveys to assess attitudes toward prescribing naloxone at preintervention and 6 and 12 months postintervention. Aggregated electronic health record data measured the number of patients with HIV prescribed and the number of HIV clinicians prescribing naloxone by site over the study period. Models controlled for calendar time and clustering of repeated measures among individuals and sites.

Results: Of 122 clinicians, 119 (98%) completed a baseline survey, 111 (91%) a 6-month survey, and 93 (76%) a 12-month survey. The intervention was associated with increases in self-reported "high likelihood" to prescribe naloxone (odds ratio [OR], 4.1 [1.7-9.4]; P = 0.001). Of 22 sites, 18 (82%) provided usable electronic health record data that demonstrated a postintervention increase in the total number of clinicians who prescribed naloxone (incidence rate ratio, 2.9 [1.1-7.6]; P = 0.03) and no significant effects on sites having at least one clinician who prescribed naloxone (OR, 4.1 [0.7-23.8]; P = 0.11). The overall proportion of all HIV patients prescribed naloxone modestly increased from 0.97% to 1.6% (OR, 2.2 [0.7-6.8]; P = 0.16).

Conclusion: On-site, practice-based, peer-to-peer training with posttraining academic detailing was a modestly effective strategy to increase HIV clinicians' prescribing of naloxone.