262356 Fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose prevention: Assessing data sources

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Jessica A. Waggett, MPH , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Lisa Arsenault, PhD , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Emily Chiasson, MPH MSW , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
Gisela Rots, MSc , Cambridge Prevention Coalition, City of Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
Alejandro Rivera , Impact Quincy, Quincy, MA
Karen Hacker, MD MPH , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Jennifer Goines , Institute of Community Health, Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
The rate of deaths associated with opioids has increased at a startling rate. In fact recent CDC reports confirm that nationally, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem. In 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health was awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) and identified reducing unintentional fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses as its primary focus area. The Institute for Community Health (ICH) served as the evaluator for two communities receiving SPF-SIG funds. A cornerstone of ICH's approach is to build local capacity to 1) understand and value data, and 2) support data-informed programming. However, evaluation of opioid overdose prevention is a relatively new area, and there is limited guidance on determining appropriate indicators or reliable, timely data sources. The evaluation team worked collaboratively with project stakeholders to select and prioritize data sources, and review data quality. This process included quarterly data analysis and data interpretation sessions with local experts. The team evaluated data from a variety of sources including hospitals, police, ambulance, vital records, and the Drug Abuse Warning Network. Similar data was monitored from a non-funded comparison community. These data sources have notable benefits and were valuable at informing the work. Nonetheless, through our process we identified noteworthy limitations. Drawing on our experiences, this presentation provides an overview of real and potential challenges with various data sources. Recommendations will be discussed for evaluators and public health practitioners to consider in selecting data sources; and has implications for effectively planning for similar evaluation efforts.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify four possible data sources for fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses. Describe limitations of various data sources. Compare various data source of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Keywords: Evaluation, Data Collection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work as an Evaluator and Research Associate for the Institute of Community Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.