Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Huyen Gonzales Pham, Ph.D., is one of six scientists who received an Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference Early Career Investigator Award for 2021. Dr. Pham was selected based on the quality of her research on associations between perceptions of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), unmet treatment needs, and treatment discontinuation among people with OUD in Virginia who are covered by Medicaid. Her study used a mail-based survey to examine factors associated with treatment discontinuation and unmet need among study participants. The study's findings suggest that reducing unmet treatment needs and increasing continuity of treatment may relate to both patient perceptions of treatment as well as behavioral health risks beyond OUD. Overall, Dr. Pham's findings indicate a need to focus on patient-centered care that integrates comprehensive behavioral health assessment and treatment and emphasizes the importance of communication, trust, and patient involvement in outpatient OUD treatment. This may further improve OUD treatment quality and outcomes in Medicaid.
Originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, Dr. Pham was a NIDA Humphrey Fellow from 2016 to 2017 at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the University of California, Los Angeles, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs that are organized within the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the David Geffen School of Medicine. The AHSR Early Career Investigator Awards recognize outstanding addiction health services researchers who are currently seeking a degree or received it within the last 5 years.