Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Interprofessional Teams and the Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Workforce


A- A+
Alt. Display

Original Theory & Research

Interprofessional Teams and the Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Workforce


Lisa de Saxe Zerden ,

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US
X close

Brianna M Lombardi,

University of Pittsburgh, US
About Brianna
Brianna M. Lombardi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Dr. Lombardi completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State and her MSW at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina School of Social Work where she collaborated and continues to work with authors of this manuscript and many other faculty at the School of Social Work. Dr. Lombardi’s research focuses on the impact of early life victimization, adversity on child and adolescent behavioral health—an area of knowledge grounded in her clinical and practice background prior to obtaining her PhD. Dr. Lombardi’s work has also helped highlight social workers’ role in integrated health settings and is a key member of the social work research team at the Carolina Health Workforce Research Center.
X close

Erica L Richman,

University of North Carolina, US
X close

Anjalee Sharma

University of North Carolina, US
X close


INTRODUCTION The current opioid crisis in the U.S. has led to an increased number of office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) programs that provide medication for opioud use disorder (MOUD) in primary care settings. MOUD (formerly known as medication assisted treatment) requires a medication and psychosocial component
of care and thus, expertise from multiple types of providers. To help inform workforce development policies and strategies to train the future OBOT workforce, this study examined: (1) the provider composition of OBOT teams, (2) team members’ respective duties, and (3) communication patterns. METHODS Interviews with a convenience sample (N=12) of providers working as members of OBOT teams in outpatient primary care settings across the U.S. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Qualitative coding was used to identify patterns relevant to study objectives. RESULTS OBOT teams always included (1) a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-waivered prescriber (typically physicians) as is mandated federally. However, other team members included; (2) a behavioral health provider (typically licensed clinical social workers); (3) a MOUD registry coordinator (varied in degree/background); and (4) other operational staff (typically medical assistants). OBOT clinics offering therapeutic behavioral interventions were more likely to employ multiple behavioral health providers, though there was variation in the types of behavioral health interventions utilized. CONCLUSION The demand for OBOT treatment teams presents a significant opportunity for interprofessional training of health professionals. Educators, policymakers, and researchers should evaluate the composition and service capacity of the current OBOT workforce in order to develop comprehensive interprofessional training programs that address the physical, psychopharmacological, behavioral health, and psychosocial components of care necessary for OUD treatment and recovery.
How to Cite: de Saxe Zerden, L., Lombardi, B.M., Richman, E.L. and Sharma, A., 2020. Interprofessional Teams and the Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Workforce. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 4(1), p.eP2114. DOI:
Published on 05 Jul 2020.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus