Document Type

Service Learning/Capstone Experience

Graduation Date

5-2019

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

Health Services Research & Administration

First Committee Member

Nizar Wehbi

Second Committee Member

Ashley Newmyer

Third Committee Member

Brandon Grimm

Abstract

Goal

The goal of this Capstone project was to provide meaningful Continuing Education (CE) to clinicians in the Midwest to reduce perceived challenges to safely treating patients co-prescribed opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines

Objectives

Using continuing education, increase clinician knowledge of effective alternative non-opioid and non-benzodiazepine therapies for chronic conditions while increasing clinician comfort in tapering patients off opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines

Methods

A one-hour CE presentation was prepared with the assistance of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NeDHHS) and broadcast to clinicians in the Midwest through a live webinar in coordination with the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (GPQIN) and the Nebraska Medical Association (NMA). Clinicians registering for the webinar included physicians, mid-level providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and nurses. In the process of registering for the webinar, clinicians were required to answer five questions to assess their perceived knowledge of effective alternative non-opioid and non-benzodiazepine therapies and their comfort with tapering patients off opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines. After the webinar, providers were required to complete a post-assessment survey of identical questions to obtain their CE credit. These questions were arranged on a 5-point Likert scale describing their level of agreement with the statements posed. Post-webinar responses were compared to the pre-webinar responses to examine the effect of the CE presentation on provider knowledge and comfort in treating patients prescribed both opioids and benzodiazepines. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the pre- and post-webinar responses to determine if the CE presentation was associated with a difference in self-reported knowledge and comfort in guideline recommended practices.

Project Impact

This study demonstrated that continuing education was associated with a statistically significant increase in self-reported clinician knowledge of effective alternative non-opioid and non-benzodiazepine therapies for chronic conditions while also increasing self-reported clinician comfort in tapering patients off opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines. State health departments should promote the use of CE in reducing perceived challenges to safely treating patients co-prescribed opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines in their efforts to decrease the incidence of opioid-related overdose deaths.

Included in

Public Health Commons

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