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Decision support in addiction: the development of an e-health tool to assess and prevent risk of fatal overdose. The ORION project

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle


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Background and Objective. The application of e-health technology to the field of substance use disorders is at a relatively early stage, and methodological quality is still variable. Few have explored the extent of utilization of communication technology in exploring risk perception by patients enrolled in substance abuse services. The Overdose RIsk InfOrmatioN (ORION) project is a European Commission funded programme, aimed to develop and pilot an e-health psycho-educational tool to provide information to drug using individuals about the risks of suffering a drug overdose.
Methods. In this article we report on phase 1 (risk estimation), phase 2 (design), and phase 3 (feasibility) of the ORION project.
Results. The development of ORION e-health tool underlined the importance of an evidence-based intervention aimed in obtaining reliable evaluation of risk. The ORION tool supported a decision making process aimed at influencing the substance users' self-efficacy and the degree to which the substance users' understand risk factors. Therefore its innovative power consisted in translating risks combination into a clear estimation for the user who will then appear more likely to be interested in his/her risk perception.
Conclusion. Exploratory field testing and validation confirmed the next stage of evaluation, namely, collection of routine patient samples in study clinics. The associations between risk perception of overdose, engagement with the ORION tool and willingness to alter overdose risk factors, in a clinical setting across various EU member states will further confirm the ORION tool's generalisability and effectiveness.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Early online date2 Jun 2016
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Research areas

  • Risk, Opioids, Decision making

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