Opioid overdose education for individuals prescribed opioids for pain management: Randomized comparison of two computer-based interventions

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12 Scopus citations


Background: Opioid overdose (OD) rates in the United States have reached unprecedented levels. Current OD prevention strategies largely consist of distribution of naloxone and in-person trainings, which face obstacles to expedient, widespread dissemination. Web-based interventions have increased opioid-OD response knowledge in patients with opioid-use disorders; however, these interventions have not been tested in the larger population of individuals that are prescribed opioid analgesics. This study assessed a web-based intervention providing education across three knowledge domains: opioid effects, opioid-OD symptoms, and opioid-OD response. Methods: Participants (N = 197) were adults recruited on Amazon Mechanical Turk from May to June 2017, who were prescribed an opioid medication for pain. Participants were randomly assigned to a Presentation (n = 97) intervention communicating relevant facts in each knowledge domain, or a Presentation + Mastery (n = 100) intervention including the same facts but requiring that participants respond correctly to ≥80% of embedded questions in each module before advancing. Participants completed the Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK) measure before and after the interventions, and provided feedback on acceptability. Results: Both versions of the intervention resulted in significant pre to postintervention increases in BOOK scores across all knowledge domains (p < 0.001), with no significant knowledge differences between groups. The Presentation intervention took significantly less time to complete (p < 0.001) and was completed by significantly more participants than the Presentation + Mastery intervention (p < 0.001). Most participants rated both interventions as highly acceptable. Conclusion: Results replicate a previous study (1) and suggest the web-based Presentation intervention may be a convenient, cost-effective method for disseminating crucial public health information for preventing opioid OD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberFEB
StatePublished - Feb 12 2018


  • Naloxone
  • Opioids
  • Overdose
  • Overdose education
  • Overdose prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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