Attending physicians' and residents' attitudes and beliefs about prescribing buprenorphine at an urban teaching hospital

Chinazo O. Cunningham, Nancy L. Sohler, Kate McCoy, Hillary V. Kunins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Opioid abuse and dependence are increasing. Pharmacotherapy with an opioid agonist reduces adverse consequences of opioid dependency. Physicians can now prescribe buprenorphine for opioid dependency in the primary care setting. This study assessed primary care providers' attitudes and beliefs about opioid addiction treatment with buprenorphine. Methods: Ninety-nine resident and attending physicians from six ambulatory clinics associated with a university hospital were interviewed with an adapted questionnaire eliciting attitudes and beliefs about opioid addiction treatment options, including buprenorphine. Results: While only 37.8% of respondents believed primary care providers should prescribe buprenorphine, and 35.7% reported interest in prescribing buprenorphine, 72.1% were willing to prescribe it with training and support. Common training/support needs were buprenorphine education/training (83.8%), available consultation (19.2%), and on-site counselors (18.2%). The most frequent reasons for not prescribing buprenorphine were lack of knowledge or training (47.5%) and lack of time (25.3%). Physicians involved in primary care-oriented programs (versus non-primary care programs) were more likely to have positive attitudes regarding buprenorphine. Conclusions: Most physicians would be willing to prescribe buprenorphine with proper training and support. Barriers and training/support needs must be addressed to develop effective opioid addiction treatment programs in the primary care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

Cite this