Adherence and Feasibility of Wearable Technologies and Ecological Momentary Assessment to Assess Autonomic Function and Negative Affect in Opioid Use Disorder (NIH HEAL Initiative)

Funded by the NIH HEAL Initiative

Negative Affect (NA) and stress are key features of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and often lead to drug use and relapse. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) dominates physiological responses to emotions and stress, yet its function and how it unfolds over time and in real-world settings remains understudied in the context of OUD. With new wearable technologies, ANS function can be measured through heart rate variability (HRV) and can be recorded continuously via wearable sensors, providing a non-invasive method to examine physiological mechanisms underlying stress and NA in real-world settings and in real-time. The present research will serve as a pilot study to assess 1. The role of autonomic function (indexed by HRV) as a marker of NA and stress in people with OUD 2. Participants’ adherence to wearing sensor devices and response rates to daily questionnaires. To achieve these objectives, we will monitor participants for 14 days and quantify self-reports measures of stress, overall daytime HRV patterns, and the magnitude, frequency, and duration of reduced HRV instances. Our findings can help advance technologies to address the opioid epidemic, and our understanding of physiological markers as objective measures and predictors of NA and stress in OUD.

CTN Protocol ID: 

Principal Investigator(s)

Veronica Ramirez

University of California Irvine
Psychological Science

4341 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway
Irvine, CA 92697
United States