Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice



Overdose education and naloxone training was recently implemented into the required curriculum of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island. The objective of this study was to compare the retention of knowledge between student pharmacists who received a didactic lecture only versus student pharmacists who received the same lecture plus a skills-based objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) with a standardized patient actor.


Students in their first-professional year (P1) of the Doctor of Pharmacy program (n = 129) and students in their second-professional (P2) year (n = 123) attended a required lecture on opioid overdose, including detailed naloxone training. P2 students were additionally required to participate in an OSCE assessment following the didactic lecture component. An anonymous, voluntary survey was offered to all students approximately 6 months later. A Chi-Square or Fisher's Exact Test was performed on the survey responses to assess any difference in the responses between the two groups.


A total of 99 P1 students (76.7%) and 116 P2 students (94.3%) completed the survey. P1 students were found to be more knowledgeable regarding the duration of naloxone action and identification of risk factors for opioid overdose. P2 students were found to be more knowledgeable regarding non-medical ways patients may obtain opioids and the correct order of emergency response during a suspected opioid overdose...

Conclusions: P2 students did not demonstrate superior retention of information regarding naloxone and opioid use disorder on survey questions compared with P1 students. There was a trend towards P2 students feeling more confident in their ability to counsel patients for overdose prevention and reporting disagreement with the statement that "overdose prevention for people who use drugs is a waste of time and money" compared with the P1 students, but these did not reach statistical significance. Since the opioid crisis continues unabated, naloxone training using OSCE and didactic methods remain an on-going required part of the pharmacy curriculum.