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Telephone consultation is associated with increased attendance to Addiction Medicine Clinic, improving access and can form an important adjunct to the delivery of AOD care

The full research article can be found with free open access here:

We performed an audit of the attendance rate at the Addiction Medicine Clinic at Western Health during a 12-months period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. This data was published at the Internal Medicine Journal online early access edition on 28 June 2024.

The aim of the study was to analyse whether treatment modality (face-to-face, telephone or video consultation) influences attendance rate, specifically to investigate whether telephone consultation could reduce barrier to accessing Addiction Medicine treatment.

What we found was that attendance rate was highest in the telephone group (87.24%), followed by face-to-face (73.02%) and video (44.92%). The odds of attending a Telephone consultation compared to face-to-face was 2.60 (95% confidence interval = 1.90–3.54, P < 0.001).

While physical attendance is practically required to deliver specific clinical care, it is important to consider that telephone consultation can form an important adjunct to the delivery of addiction medicine treatment, is significantly associated with increased attendance and with the right strategies may help to reduce barrier to accessing care in a vulnerable group of patients. Given the substantial costs of substance use disorders, this could inform government policies and funding priorities to further improve access and treatment outcomes.

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