Lightning Talk

Addressing the Opioid Use Epidemic: Strategies for Interprofessional Health Education

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm EDT
Sample video
Lightning Talk Presentation

This presentation aligns with the theme of Centering IPE around people/patient, families, caregivers and communities because it addresses a global health problem that affects people in all walks of life - the opioid epidemic - and seeks to prepare health professions students with an understanding of the complex nature of the opioid use disorder, its impact on individuals, patients, families and the community, and solutions to this crisis in order to improve outcomes. This IPE activity was developed as an interprofessional initiative and engages students in medicine, dental, nursing, EMS, and physical therapy in an on-line discussion board format activity that allows them to acquire new knowledge and health promoting strategies and apply them to two unfolding case studies of individuals with opioid use disorder. Future health care outcomes will be improved by preparing providers in health disciplines to understand the complexities of the illness, to provide care with compassion and empathy, and to value what each health care professional brings to the approach. The faculty who developed the activity used qualitative methods and thematic analysis to explore the students' perceptions of patients experiencing opioid use disorder and the challenges of interprofessional care upon completion of the activity. There were 217 student participants in the first run of this activity and rich discussion among the students. Six themes were identified from the discussion board responses: 1) Opioid Use Disorder can happen to anyone, 2) Mismanaged Health Care, 3) Overwhelming life stressors, 4) Seeking relief from chronic pain, 5) A strong sense of empathy and compassion, and 6) Interprofessional collaboration improves outcomes. This strategy was an effective approach to increase student knowledge of the opioid epidemic with implications for future practice.


This activity has been planned and implemented by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. In support of improving patient care, the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Physicians: The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Physician Assistants: The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Nurses: Participants will be awarded up to 0.75 contact hours of credit for attendance at this workshop.

Nurse Practitioners: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Pharmacists: This activity is approved for 0.75 contact hours (.075 CEU) UAN: JA4008105-0000-20-070-H04-P; JA4008105-0000-20-070-H04-T

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 0.75 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change


In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Standards for Commercial Support, adopted by the Joint Accreditors for Interprofessional Continuing Education, the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education has a conflict of interest policy that requires that all individuals involved in the development of activity content disclose their relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. All potential conflicts of interest that arise based upon these financial relationships are resolved prior to the educational activity.

Cindy Hadenfeldt, Jenny Jessen, Heather Naylor, Sara Banzhaf, Lori Porter, Jean Marie Place, Dane Minnick, Alex Buchanan, Sherry Jimenez

declare no vested interest in or affiliation with any commercial interest offering financial support for this interprofessional continuing education activity, or any affiliation with a commercial interest whose philosophy could potentially bias their presentation.