An interprofessional education workshop to develop health professional student opioid misuse knowledge, attitudes, and skills

Kristina Monteiro
Luba Dumenco
Sally Collins
Jeffrey Bratberg, University of Rhode Island
Celia MacDonnell, University of Rhode Island
Anita Jacobson, University of Rhode Island
Richard Dollase
Paul George


Objective: To implement and evaluate an interprofessional workshop focused on increasing student knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward opioid misuse. Setting: The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, April 2016. Practice description: Health professional students from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and physical therapy participated in an interprofessional education workshop focused on opioid use disorder. Practice innovation: This workshop included 4 main components: a patient panel, a simulated standardized patient encounter, a paper-based case session focused on a homeless individual misusing opioids, and naloxone training. Evaluation: Direct assessment included a pretest and a posttest adapted from the Opioid Overdose Knowledge Scale administered to medical students measuring knowledge of opioid overdose at baseline and at 12 weeks after the workshop. Indirect assessment included a satisfaction survey administered to medical, nursing, pharmacy, and social work students. Results: Medical students scored a mean of 40.84 out of 54 (SD = 5.36) points at baseline (n = 120) and a mean of 47.94 out of 54 (SD = 3.20) points at 12-week follow-up (n = 72), demonstrating a significant increase in knowledge from pretest to posttest (P <0.001). Student satisfaction data from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and physical therapy (n = 272) revealed a high degree of satisfaction regarding the overall quality of the training (4.47/5; SD = 0.75), quality of instruction (4.53/5; SD = 0.73), quality of training materials (4.46/5; SD = 0.77), the training experience (4.52/5; SD = 0.75), and the organization of the training (4.50/5; SD = 0.73). Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that an interprofessional education workshop focused exclusively on opioid misuse was well received with high levels of satisfaction among health professional students. Workshops such as these can be used in health professions curricula to simulate the complex issues surrounding substance use disorder and to highlight the importance of interprofessional teams.