Opioid-related hospitalizations in rural areas are increasing nearly twice as fast as in urban areas (8.6% vs 4.9%). But rural primary care comes with some barriers to effectively treat opioid abuse, including lack of access to specialty treatment centers, limited continuing training opportunities, and lack of social support services.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has called for research to expand access to evidence-based treatment for opioid abuse disorders in rural areas and is backing that call with up to $12 million to be awarded over the next 4 years. Specifically, the grants will fund as many as 4 research projects exploring ways to overcome barriers to the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in underserved communities.
Researchers may examine online training for physicians, in-office practice coaching, and virtual counseling sessions; projects also can create training resources to expand patients’ access to MAT.
Grant applications are due March 4, 2016. For more information: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HS-16-001.html.