An Interprofessional Learning Opportunity Regarding Pain and the Opioid Epidemic


  • Patricia Stoddard-Dare Cleveland State University
  • Kelle K. DeBoth
  • Madalynn Wendland
  • Ryan Suder
  • Joan Niederriter
  • Rebecca Bowen
  • Sara Dugan
  • Miyuki Tedor



Interprofessional education, opioid epidemic, substance use disorder,


An interprofessional response is needed to mitigate the deleterious effects of the opioid epidemic. Here we describe an interprofessional workshop for n=307 students from social work, pharmacy, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology designed to help prepare professionals to work competently in interprofessional teams while serving clients impacted by substance misuse. A total of n=201 participants provided informed consent and completed a pre- and post-test electronic survey to measure the influence of the interprofessional workshop. Findings from a paired sample t-test reveal statistically significant differences at post-test regarding participant’s self-described confidence 1) identifying their values and beliefs as they relate to substance misuse, 2) responding appropriately when interacting with someone with problematic substance use, 3) quickly finding local harm reduction resources, and 4) quickly finding local, available treatment resources for a person struggling with addiction. These findings suggest this educational curriculum is valuable in achieving its stated goals. Although future research is needed, findings from this study may be useful to health education systems across the country. This interprofessional education program can be emulated to aid in developing confidence in students and seasoned professionals in the healthcare workforce.


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