Text Messages Exchanged Between Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder and Their mHealth e-Coaches: Content Analysis Study
Ranjit Y, Davis W, Fentem A, Riordan R, Roscoe R, Cavazos-Rehg P. Text Messages Exchanged Between Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder and Their mHealth e-Coaches: Content Analysis Study. JMIR Hum Factors 2023;10:e37351 DOI: 10.2196/37351
The aim of this study was to understand the text messaging communication between persons undergoing opioid use disorder (OUD) recovery and their e-coaches. The study was part of a larger mHealth intervention study called “uMAT-R”, which is a support mobile app to improve OUD treatment adherence and recovery. The uMAT-R app provides instant in-app messaging with a recovery support e-coach. Participants were recruited from various OUD recovery programs in St. Louis and were eligible if they had a formal OUD diagnosis and were currently receiving treatment. For this content analysis, messages from 70 participants were coded for emotional support, informational support, and material support (services and resources that help solve practical issues). Messages were also coded for treatment and recovery domains and problems related to mobile app usage. On average, the number of messages exchanged between participants and e-coaches was 17 (SD=16.05) and 90% of conversations were initiated by e-coaches. Emotional support was most commonly identified in conversations (196 occurrences), followed by material support (110 occurrences). For OUD treatment content, messages about OUD recovery and opioid use risk factors occurred the most (N=72), followed by motivation to avoid drug use (N=47). Depression was significantly associated with social support related messages (r=0.27, p=0.02). Overall, findings demonstrate that people in OUD recovery seek social support and relapse prevention support when provided online communication with their health care providers. Due to the need for continuous interpersonal support as part of addiction care, instant two-way text messaging could be a cost-effective and sustainable tool to support OUD recovery.