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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this initiative was to develop and implement an interprofessional panel aimed to expose a university audience to the magnitude of opioid misuse and abuse, as well as demonstrate each health professional’s role in curbing the epidemic. Further, this experience was to provide a platform for interprofessional discussion and to share with attendees tangible action items to begin combatting the opioid epidemic.

Methods: An interdisciplinary committee of healthcare professionals collaborated to initiate a dialogue around opioid misuse and abuse to highlight the power of interprofessional (IP) collaboration in addressing the opioid epidemic. Each panel member shared a personal vignette about his or her professional experience with the epidemic, then the audience members were asked to participate in a question and answer session. Primary outcomes from this IP experience were derived from an eight-item satisfaction survey. The event was held in April 2016. The interdisciplinary committee marketed this event to all students, faculty, and staff in the Rueckert-Hartman College of Health Care Professionals one month before the event through electronic emails and posters.

Results: Forty-four (63%) of participants completed the satisfaction survey of which 88.6% were students of healthcare professions. The satisfaction survey evaluative results were positive and referenced the panel as being an excellent IP event that was helpful, informative, and enjoyable. The results support that the initiative successfully increased understanding of the magnitude of the opioid epidemic for the attendees of this pilot event. The target audience of students expressed a greater awareness of the magnitude of the problem (43.2%) and an increased appreciation of the IP aspects of opioid management strategies (36.4%). Attendees also identified the need for ownership of their role as existing and future health care professionals and the need to work as an IP team to address the problem.

Conclusion: An interprofessional panel format as an optional extracurricular event is an effective way to communicate key educational messages about opioid misuse and abuse to a target audience of graduate students at a mid-sized college of health professions.

Author Bio(s)

Marta J. Brooks, PharmD, MS

Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy, Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, Regis University, Denver, CO.She is also a licensed pharmacist in the states of Connecticut, Texas, and Virginia.

Suzanne E. Holm, OTD, OTR, BCPR

Occupational Therapy Academic Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor

Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, Regis University, Denver, CO.She is also a licensed OTR/L practitioner in the state of Colorado.

Shelene M. Thomas, PT, DPT, EdD, GCS

Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, Regis University, Denver, CO. She is also a licensed physical therapist practitioner in the state of Colorado.

Amy J. Rich, PT, DPT, NCS

Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, Regis University, Denver, CO. She is also a licensed physical therapist practitioner in the state of Colorado.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the following individuals who contributed to the development and execution of this panel discussion: Roxanne England, MS, RN; Christine Feltman, PharmD; Ira Gorman, PT, DPT, PhD, MSPH, BA; Suzie Stolte; Joanna Stratton, PhD, LMFT, LP; and Rob Valuck, PhD, RPh. Funding was provided by Regis University Center for Teaching and Learning (CETL) for marketing and refreshment support. Finally, the authors recognize the University Provost, Janet Houser, PhD toward supporting this effort.

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