Court staff content and style preferences for educational videos about medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

Barbara Andraka-Christou, J.D., Ph.D., Yara Asi, PhD and Rachel Totaram, MHA
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

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Introduction: Drug courts have rising rates of clients with opioid use disorder (OUD). Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the most effective treatment for OUD, but previous research indicates that court staff often have negative views of MAT and even prohibit court clients from using MAT. To help address this issue, our team was contracted by a Florida court agency to develop content and style themes for educational videos about MAT that will be distributed to court staff across the state. Therefore, our objective for the first phase of our study was to identify judges’ and court staff’s preferences for education content and style in such videos. The second phase of the study will combine these themes with scientific data to develop a script, which will then be focus grouped.

Methods: We recruited a purposeful sample of court staff from different Florida regions with experience working with clients who utilize MAT for semi-structured Zoom interviews. During interviews, participants were shown potential animation/graphic styles, asked to identify key messages for videos, and asked how to make the message most persuasive. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. We conducted mixed deductive-inductive thematic analysis in Dedoose software. Recruitment continued until thematic saturation was reached.

Results: A total of nine participants identified the following content and style themes: describe the impact of MAT on lifestyle stability, including employment and parenting; refer to well-respected organizations who encourage MAT; use simple but realistic looking animation for the brain; include interviews with actual clients discussing their MAT experience; say MAT is not a “magic wand”; argue that MAT is “not just another drug”; emphasize the need for long-term MAT utilization; and discuss the appropriate role of court staff in MAT decisions.

Conclusion: Despite our small participant sample size, participants from across the state identified similar content and style preferences.

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