• Pain Manag Nurs · Aug 2015

    Preventing Opioid Misuse and Potential Abuse: The Nurse's Role in Patient Education.

    • Margaret Costello and Sarah Thompson.
    • Simmons College, School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Nursing Department, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: margaret.costello@simmons.edu.
    • Pain Manag Nurs. 2015 Aug 1; 16 (4): 515-9.

    AbstractNurses play a vital role in providing patient education for proper use of opioids. This descriptive study was designed to explore nurses' knowledge of opioids. Nurses in two large urban East Coast medical centers in the United States were invited to participate in the study, and 133 nurses completed the survey in its entirety. Registered nurses' knowledge of and attitudes about opioid use were assessed using a 48-item web-based questionnaire sent via e-mail. Frequencies were computed for all items on the questionnaire. Chi-squared testing was used to analyze data for all questions that fewer than 50% of participants answered correctly. The results of this study revealed a pain management knowledge gap among nurses caring for patients who are receiving opioid analgesics. This gap includes patient assessment; pharmacologic management; use of adjuvant medications; risks of addiction; risks of respiratory depression; and disposal and storage of opioid analgesics. Only 25% of the nurses answered 50% of the survey questions correctly. Demographic variables such as experience working as a nurse and length of time as a nurse did not influence how nurses performed on the questionnaire, nor did educational level. However, nurses who received education on opioids as a separate class of medication answered a higher percentage of questions correctly than those who did not receive education on opioids. The results of this study reveal a knowledge gap and nurses' lack of sufficient information about opioids that may affect their ability to provide effective medication instructions to their patients.Copyright © 2015 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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