ResearchPublications

Study protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of a peer navigator intervention for emergency department patients with nonfatal opioid overdose
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) after a nonfatal opioid-involved overdose are at high risk for future overdose and death. Responding to this risk, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene operates the Relay initiative, which dispatches trained peer “Wellness Advocates” to meet patients in the ED after a suspected opioid-involved overdose and follow them for up to 90 days to provide support, education, referrals to treatment, and other resources using a harm reduction framework.

METHODS: In this article, we describe the protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of Relay. Study participants are recruited from four NYC EDs and are randomized to receive the Relay intervention or site-directed care (the control arm). Outcomes are assessed through survey questionnaires conducted at 1-, 3-, and 6-months after the baseline visit, as well as through administrative health data. The primary outcome is the number of opioid-related adverse events, including any opioid-involved overdose or any other substance use-related ED visit, in the 12 months post-baseline. Secondary and exploratory outcomes will also be analyzed, as well as hypothesized mediators and moderators of Relay program effectiveness.

CONCLUSION: We present the protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of a peer-delivered OD prevention intervention in EDs. We describe how the study was designed to minimize disruption to routine ED operations, and how the study was implemented and adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full citation:
Doran KM, Welch AE, Jeffers A, Kepler KL, Chambless D, Cowan E, Wittman I, Regina A, Chang TE, Parraga S, Tapia J, Diaz C, Gwadz M, Cleland CM, McNeely J (2023).
Study protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of a peer navigator intervention for emergency department patients with nonfatal opioid overdose
Contemporary Clinical Trials, 126, 107111. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2023.107111.