Date

June 1, 2021

Type

Publication

Location

Attendees

Evaluations of Continuing Health Provider Education Focused on Opioid Prescribing: A Scoping Review

Date

June 1, 2021

Type

Publication

Location

Attendees

Overview

In January 2020, the authors conducted a systematic search of 7 databases, seeking studies of HPE programs on opioid analgesic prescribing and overdose prevention. The authors extracted a range of data using categories for evaluating complex programs: the use of theory, program purpose, inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and industry involvement.

Measurements of changes in knowledge and confidence were common. Performance outcomes were less common and typically self-reported. Most studies (n = 27 [84%]) used concerns of opioid-related harms at the population health level to justify the educational intervention, but only five (16%) measured patient- or population-level outcomes directly related to the educational programs.

Authors

Abhimanyu SudGraziella R MolskaFabio Salamanca-Buentello

Citation

Sud A, Molska GR, Salamanca-Buentello F. Evaluations of Continuing Health Provider Education Focused on Opioid Prescribing: A Scoping Review. Acad Med. 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004186. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34074902.

Abstract

Purpose: Continuing health provider education (HPE) is an important intervention supported by health policy to counter the opioid epidemic; knowledge regarding appropriate program design and evaluation is lacking. The authors aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of evaluations of opioid-related continuing HPE programs and their appropriateness as interventions to improve population health.

Method: In January 2020, the authors conducted a systematic search of 7 databases, seeking studies of HPE programs on opioid analgesic prescribing and overdose prevention. Reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts of all studies and then assessed the full texts of all studies potentially eligible for inclusion. The authors extracted a range of data using categories for evaluating complex programs: the use of theory, program purpose, inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and industry involvement. Results were reported in a narrative synthesis.

Results: Thirty-nine reports on 32 distinct HPE programs met inclusion criteria. Of these 32, 31 (97%) were U.S./Canadian programs and 28 (88%) were reported after 2010. Measurements of changes in knowledge and confidence were common. Performance outcomes were less common and typically self-reported. Most studies (n = 27 [84%]) used concerns of opioid-related harms at the population health level to justify the educational intervention, but only five (16%) measured patient- or population-level outcomes directly related to the educational programs. Six programs (19%) had direct or indirect opioid manufacturer involvement.

Conclusions: Continuing HPE has been promoted as an important means of addressing population-level opioid-related harms by policy makers and educators, yet published evaluations of HPE programs focusing on opioid analgesics inadequately evaluate patient- or population-level outcomes. Instead, they primarily focus on self-reported performance outcomes. Conceptual models are needed to guide the development and evaluation of continuing HPE programs intended to have population health benefits.

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