Fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses: Using media coverage as an evaluation tool
Opioid related deaths in the nation, distinctively in Massachusetts, have risen at a considerable rate. 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 of Community Health (ICH) served as the evaluator for Quincy, MA, a recipient of SPF-SIG grant funds. With this grant, Impact Quincy (IQ), a Quincy substance abuse prevention organization, implemented opioid overdose reduction initiatives. As part of the strategic planning process, an assessment of local opioid related media coverage was conducted to assess if, and how, media coverage of opioid substance abuse and overdoses changed during the course of the funding period. Using targeted media sources, ICH and IQ collected relevant articles, analyzed each for common patterns, and categorized them accordingly. Three key indictors: 1) increased number of articles addressing opioid overdoses in Quincy; 2) increased number of articles with opioid overdose prevention messaging; and 3) increased representation of IQ staff in the media, were identified to assess shifts in reporting trends. Analysis of local media coverage as a programmatic evaluation tool was valuable in informing future program initiatives, however there were limitations. This presentation will discuss lessons learned and recommendations for evaluators and public health practitioners to consider when using media as a data source for evaluation.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Discuss the benefits and limitations of using trends in media coverage as a data source for substance abuse prevention programmatic evaluation.
Keyword(s): Drug Abuse, Evaluation
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as an senior evaluator for multiple state and federally funded grants focusing on substance abuse prevention and harm reduction initiatives.
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.