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(Boston) — Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) have been awarded a five-year, $3.4 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will help fund the Addiction Health Evaluation and Disease (AHEAD) management program to determine whether chronic disease management (CDM) for drug dependence problems integrated into the primary care setting will decrease drug use and related problems as compared to routine care.
Drug dependence is a chronic disease that requires specialty treatment, primary medical care, and management of related problems. Although patients can be linked with specialty treatment and primary medical care, their health care often remains episodic and fragmented. “Some patients don’t get the healthcare they need because they find the barriers connected to getting care are too high,” said principal investigator Jeffrey Samet, MD, chief of general internal medicine at BMC.
CDM has been proven to be more effective than routine care in the treatment of certain chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes and depression and addresses individual patient and health systems barriers to receiving needed treatment.
In a previous study, BMC researchers found evidence that primary care improved addiction severity.
“It is hoped that getting the patient’s dependence problems addressed front and center coordinated with the primary medical care system will make a difference. It is our goal to improve outcomes and support the adoption of a health services delivery strategy to better care for patients with drug dependence issues,” added Samet.