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Reading: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Strategies for Interprofessional Health Education

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Original Theory & Research

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Strategies for Interprofessional Health Education

Authors:

Cindy Jean Hadenfeldt ,

Creighton University, US
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Heather M Naylor,

Creighton University, US
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Jennifer Lynn Jessen,

Creighton University, US
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Sara Banzhaf,

Creighton University, US
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Kate Martens-Stricklett

Creighton University, US
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION Opioid use disorder impacts families in the United States from all walks of life with premature loss of life and devastating financial and social consequences. An online interprofessional program was designed and implemented to assist pre-licensure health professions students to understand the complexities of the opioid epidemic. The program included information related to the epidemic’s impact on individuals, patients, families and the community, solutions to this crisis, and the benefit of interprofessional care in to addressing the epidemic. METHODS The purpose of this study was to explore students’ perceptions of individuals experiencing opioid use disorder and the value of interprofessional care.  There were 217 students of medicine, dental, nursing, emergency medical services, and physical therapy who participated in the discussion-board format activity that enabled them to acquire new knowledge and apply it to two unfolding case studies of individuals experiencing opioid use disorder. RESULTS Thematic analysis was applied to the discussion that was generated from the activity. Six themes were identified from the discussion board responses: 1) Opioid use disorder can happen to anyone, 2) Mismanaged health care contributes to opioid addiction, 3) Overwhelming life stressors can impact opioid use, 4) Seeking relief from chronic pain can dominate a person’s life, 5) A strong sense of empathy and compassion is essential for health professionals, and 6) Interprofessional collaboration improves outcomes. CONCLUSION This educational strategy was an effective approach to engage students in informed discussions regarding the complexities of the epidemic and to appreciate the benefit of interprofessional care in addressing opioid use disorder.
How to Cite: Hadenfeldt, C.J., Naylor, H.M., Jessen, J.L., Banzhaf, S. and Martens-Stricklett, K., 2020. Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Strategies for Interprofessional Health Education. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 4(1), p.eP2131. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2641-1148.2131
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Published on 08 Oct 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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