Dr. Courtney Yarbrough Receives K01 to Study OUD Treatment Adoption Among Primary Care Providers

July 27, 2020

Courtney R. Yarbrough, PhD, has been awarded a five-year professional development grant (K01) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the adoption of treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD) among primary care providers. Approximately 10.3 million Americans misuse prescription (e.g., oxycodone) or illicit (e.g., heroin) opioids, and two million Americans suffer from OUD. Effective medications are approved to treat OUD but are vastly underutilized. One such medication, buprenorphine (e.g., Suboxone) holds substantial promise to expand OUD treatment because it can be prescribed in an outpatient, primary care setting. However, few primary care physicians prescribe the drug.

Yarbrough will conduct an in-depth examination of the barriers and facilitators to primary care buprenorphine prescribing using both quantitative analyses of large datasets and qualitative interviews of providers, pharmacists, patients, and community members. Her objective is to identify policy tools and medical practice adaptations that promote implementation of buprenorphine treatment in the primary care setting.

A K01 professional development award provides faculty with time and resources to advance their skills and knowledge in key areas through training opportunities and collaboration with expert mentors. Yarbrough will focus on building her expertise in geospatial analysis, implementation science, and qualitative research methods in addition to enhancing her clinical knowledge of substance use disorders. Her mentorship team will be led by Dr. Hannah L.F. Cooper, Rollins Chair of Substance Use Disorders Research, and includes Drs. Jessica M. Sales, Lance A. Waller, and Karen Drexler (Emory School of Medicine).

Yarbrough’s research concentrates on substance use disorders and treatment access in addition to policies that affect pharmaceutical use and prices in the United States.