Online Program

Changing practice behaviors: Online education takes on the opioid prescription epidemic

Monday, November 4, 2013

Liliana Tenney, MPH, Center for Health, Work and Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Lyndsay Krisher, MPH, Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Lee S. Newman, MD, MA, Colorado School of Public Health- Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
In the U.S., 82 people die every day as a result of unintentional prescription drug overdose . The opioid abuse epidemic is leading healthcare providers to review how they treat patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. Providers and other healthcare workers in Colorado have access to a new, online course which reviews guidelines on chronic pain management. It teaches a comprehensive approach to assess and document patient function and other strategies to practice before prescribing opioids. Content was developed and reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts, , free of pharmaceutical industry support. Additionally, web resources provide access to tools commonly used in managing chronic pain patients.

Evaluation results from 138 Colorado practitioners indicate that the training has a positive effect on knowledge gained and intent to change practice behavior. People who completed the training found the information useful for their practice (79%); said that it increased their knowledge about the treatment of non-cancer chronic pain (77%); and plan to apply the knowledge they gained in the course to change their current practice (81%).

The top three changes learners intend to make after completing the training are to assess and document patients' functional goals (19%); coordinate care with other providers (16%); and check the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program regularly (15%).

Online professional education improves knowledge and clinicians' self-reported intent to change practice patterns in management of chronic non-cancer pain patients. Future research will directly assess the impact of this training on opioid prescribing behavior.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss comprehensive approaches to improve chronic non-cancer pain management. Identify practices to manage chronic pain patients before prescribing opioids. Assess the current barriers providers face when managing chronic non-cancer pain patients.

Keyword(s): Health Care, Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a senior professional research assistant working with the principal of multiple federally and privately funded grants focusing on occupational health, health education, worksite wellness, health promotion and communication. Among my scientific interests has been the development of online learning technologies for practicing occupational health and safety professionals including chronic pain management, practice-based community health projects and health promotion in small business.
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.