Target trial emulation for comparative effectiveness research with observational data: Promise and challenges for studying medications for opioid use disorder

Paul J. Christine, Sara Lodi, Heather E. Hsu, Benjamin Bovell-Ammon, Shapei Yan, Dana Bernson, Patricia Novo, Joshua D. Lee, John Rotrosen, Jane Liebschutz, Alexander Y. Walley, Marc R. Larochelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) increase retention in care and decrease mortality during active treatment; however, information about the comparative effectiveness of different forms of MOUD is sparse. Observational comparative effectiveness studies are subject to many types of bias; a robust framework to minimize bias would improve the quality of comparative effectiveness evidence. This paper discusses the use of target trial emulation as a framework to conduct comparative effectiveness studies of MOUD with administrative data. Using examples from our planned research project comparing buprenorphine-naloxone and extended-release naltrexone with respect to the rates of MOUD discontinuation, we provide a primer on the challenges and approaches to employing target trial emulation in the study of MOUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1321
Number of pages9
JournalAddiction
Volume119
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2024

Keywords

  • causal inference
  • emulated trial
  • observational research
  • opioids
  • substance use
  • target trial emulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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