Pharmacotherapy and Mobile Health for Veterans with Substance Use Disorders

The Mobile Patient Opportunities for Wellness, Engagement, and Recovery (mPOWER) project was developed to explore alternative therapies for a high-risk, high-need population prone to frequent addiction crisis, emergency medical, and psychiatric services utilization. The study incorporated patient feedback, satisfaction levels, utilization statistics, and population readmission rates as outcome measures.

This research report presents findings from a study evaluating the efficacy of an addiction pharmacotherapy care model integrated with a mobile health application, specifically designed for at-risk Veterans residing in rural areas dealing with substance abuse challenges.

Included in the report is a descriptive analysis of data gathered across a 2 ½ year study funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by the Loyola Recovery Foundation (Loyola), a Pittsford, New York, community-based non-profit organization providing sub-specialty behavioral health, health management, housing, and employment services to Veterans.

One key finding was that mobile health usage exhibited a consistent upward trend, with the discussion board emerging as the most popular application for communication among peers and care staff. Remarkably, after ten months of enrollment, active participants experienced a significant 71% reduction in cumulative total readmissions compared to their rates in the preceding ten months before joining the mPOWER program.

Key Results.

  • For participants who remained active in the mPOWER program (n=24), readmission rates decreased by 71% as compared to their readmission rates before their enrollment in the mPOWER program.
  • After enrollment in mPOWER, the average decrease in 10-month readmission rates for active participants went from 3 readmissions to less than one (0.89) readmission after enrollment.