Text message content preferences to improve buprenorphine maintenance treatment in primary care

Babak Tofighi, Ellie Grossman, Sewit Bereket, Joshua D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few studies have evaluated text message content preferences to support evidence-based treatment approaches for opioid use disorders, and none in primary care office-based buprenorphine treatment settings. This study assessed the acceptability and preferences for a tailored text message intervention in support of core office-based buprenorphine treatment medical management components (e.g., treatment adherence, encouraging abstinence, 12-step group participation, motivational interviewing, and patient-provider communication as needed). There were 97 patients enrolled in a safety net office-based buprenorphine treatment program who completed a 24-item survey instrument that consisted of multiple-choice responses, 7-point Likert-type scales, binomial "Yes/No" questions, and open-ended responses. The sample was predominately male (81%), had an average age of 46 years, and was diverse (64% ethnic/racial minorities); 56% lacked stable employment. Respondents were interested in receiving text message appointment reminders (90%), information pertaining to their buprenorphine treatment (76%), supportive content (70%), and messages to reduce the risk of relapse (88%). Participants preferred to receive relapse prevention text messages during all phases of treatment: immediately after induction into buprenorphine treatment (81%), a "few months" into treatment (57%), and after discontinuing buprenorphine treatment (72%). Respondents also expressed interest in text message content enhancing self-efficacy, social support, and frequent provider communication to facilitate unobserved "home" induction with buprenorphine. Older participants were significantly less receptive to receiving text message appointment reminders; however, they were as interested in receiving supportive, informational, and relapse prevention components compared to younger respondents. Implications for integrating a text message support system in office-based buprenorphine treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • Buprenorphine
  • mHealth
  • opioid dependence
  • text messaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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