The Norwegian model for opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) "Drug-assisted rehabilitation" (DAR) is a cross-disciplinary tripartite model for the treatment of opioid dependence. The model requires collaboration among GPs, the social services and the specialist health services. To some degree it restricts the doctor's professional autonomy. The investigation aims to examine GPs' attitudes to the model and in particular the experiences of those who have actively participated.
An electronic questionnaire (Questback) was sent to Norwegian GPs listed on the members' register of the Norwegian Medical Association. The respondents were questioned about their general opinions of drug-assisted rehabilitation. Those who had had relevant patients were asked about their experiences and evaluations based on 22 statements.
1,165 doctors (34 % of all registered GPs) responded to the survey. 155 (13 %) were negative, 395 (34 %) neutral, and 604 (53 %) were positive towards drug-assisted rehabilitation. 683 (59 %) were doctors with DAR experience. These were treating approximately 50 % of the country's DAR patients. The tripartite model received significant support. Very few want greater autonomy. The majority also support the strong emphasis on monitoring, although some, particularly older doctors with DAR experience, believe that urine tests could be replaced by personal contact.
Drug-assisted rehabilitation was mainly viewed positively by Norwegian GPs in this sample. There was little opposition to the doctor's role in the model, even though it restricts the autonomy of the individual doctor to some degree.