Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Post Master's DNP Completion

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Opioid Use Disorder, Medication-assisted treatment


Dr. Gabrielle Abelard



Background: Opioid abuse is a challenging health care concern, and has been identified as a national public health issue. The prevalence of illicit fentanyl and prescription pain medication in our society are related to a multitude of factors which have impacted many lives and triggered a national epidemic despite experts' preventative measures and treatment recommendations. Purpose: A quality improvement (QI) project was designed to enhance the assessment of patients suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) with evidence-based screening tools to prevent opioid abuse among adult patients in a chronic care psychiatric hospital. Methods: The QI project integrated an educational intervention to an interdisciplinary team comprising of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, mental health counselors, and social workers. The project’s purpose was to improve the process of opioid abuse evaluation for clients with co-occurring mental illness and OUD at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. The DNP project included screening scales to identify and monitor six clients receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for behavior change. A pre-intervention questionnaire and a post-test questionnaire were initiated at the beginning prior to and following the presentation of education intervention, respectively, to measure the knowledge gained. Results and Conclusion: The clinician participants reported enhanced knowledge in assessment, identification, and referral of clients with OUD to specialty treatment services. Additionally, the client participants demonstrated increased knowledge of opioid abuse risk and the need to continue MAT after discharge.

Keywords: Opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental illness, medicated-assisted treatment, opioid abuse prevention, opioid abuse assessment scale, transtheoretical model of behavior change.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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