Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

David Fiellin


Objective: The goal of this project is to better understand the Veterans’ perspective on the facilitators and barriers of using a mobile app for opioid tapering.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Veteran patients who have experienced opioid tapering at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. Interviews were conducted in-person at the VA Opioid Renewal Clinic (ORC). Each interview lasted approximately 55-70 minutes and participants were compensated with $25. Data analysis was conducted using Grounded Theory to generate findings for this research project.

Results: Findings identified a total of 11 codes, which were categorized as facilitators or barriers for mobile app use on opioid tapering. Qualitative codes that emerged as facilitators included sense of control, interest in novel interventions, communication with provider, support systems, mobile literacy, and personalization. Barriers identified were lack of mobile literacy, lack of knowledge, app malfunctions, privacy concerns, and lack of accessibility functions.

Discussion: Majority of these Veterans are willing to try something novel that will help them with their opioid tapering and pain management. The development of mobile apps focused on opioid tapering should consider these facilitators and barriers to increase the likelihood of future intention to use the app.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access