57 - Not Another Opioid Crisis: Assessing Pharmacists’ Knowledge and Attitudes About Opioid Use for Pain Management and Palliative Care
Natalie Malone1, Andrea Wetshtein1,2, Jessica Geiger1, Abigail Benecke1
1OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio, USA. 2Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Purpose Will targeted education regarding safe opioid prescribing practices and pharmacokinetics increase knowledge and confidence among hospital pharmacists? Although pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a provider, few health care professionals report adequate training on appropriate pain management.1-3 Many pharmacists, especially in the community setting, express low confidence in promoting safe opioid use due to lack of time and training. Limited literature has been published assessing these same parameters for hospital-based pharmacists.2 At our institution, system-wide opioid comfort orders are based on pharmacokinetic properties, such as half-life and time to peak serum concentration (effect). Objectives of this study were to assess health-system pharmacists’ baseline knowledge and attitude scores regarding opioid medications and prescribing habits and determine if education about opioids would improve knowledge and attitude scores. Methods Pre/post observational study evaluating change in pharmacists’ knowledge and comfort with opioid verification and opioid recommendations to providers following a virtual competency program Survey questions were developed both from the literature and through collaboration with OhioHealth pharmacists.3 Competency program reviewed pharmacology of opioids, opioid equivalency tables, definition of tolerance and naïve, and opioid conversions. Results Overall knowledge scores increased significantly from the pre-education group (M = 3.98 ± 1.51) to the post-education group (M = 5.63 ± 1.26;p < 0.001). A significantly larger proportion of participants in the post-education group gave a correct answer for 5 of the 9 knowledge questions. A significantly smaller proportion of participants in the post-education group disagreed with the question “I feel I have received adequate training regarding opioids and pain management throughout my career” (p = 0.007). Conclusions A virtual education program increased health-system pharmacist knowledge about the pharmacology of opioids. Attitudes towards common prescribing practices surrounding opioids also changed. Opioids are a high-risk medication and the education provided surrounding this project has been added to an annual competency for pharmacists at OhioHealth. Future directions may include an evaluation of new pharmacy graduates to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes surrounding opioids as well as their exposure to education surrounding opioids.