Adapting Pain and Opioid Prescribing Continuing Education to the Virtual Environment: Optimizing Program Factors While Navigating Context
Sud A, Harris M, Hodgson K. Adapting Pain and Opioid Prescribing Continuing Education to the Virtual Environment: Optimizing Program Factors While Navigating Context. Pain Med. 2021 Oct 8;22(10):2143-2148. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnab211. PMID: 34273170.
Safer Opioid Prescribing (SOP) is a well-established Canadian continuing professional development (CPD) program focused on improving chronic pain care and opioid prescribing practices. It was developed in 2013, launched fully in 2014, and has had well over 1,000 health care professional participants, particularly from primary care, attending from every province in Canada. The program, described in detail elsewhere , was conceived as an education-focused policy intervention for the Canadian opioid crisis, and developers and faculty intentionally drew on principles of complex health interventions to inform the design and delivery of the program . Increasingly, complex interventions are characterized as such not only because of their internal constitution but also because of being embedded in dynamic, unpredictable, and complex contexts . SOP has undergone several major adaptations in response to important contextual shifts, such as the release of national clinical practice guidelines for opioid prescribing for chronic pain in 2017  and the increasing emphasis on access to primary care–based opioid use disorder treatment . The present article will focus on a further adaptation to a major contextual shift—namely, the unplanned adaptations to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting physical distancing measures and travel restrictions.