Educational Strategies

Educational strategies are often implemented to prime a community for action. How can one address and reduce NMUPD, if there is limited understanding of the nature and scope of the problem? How can prescribers implement appropriate practices without information on what’s required to do so? One way to do this is by making key information known to the general public, and to those who distribute prescription drugs (e.g., prescribers and manufacturers) through different channels. However, while information dissemination can be associated with contributing factors such as perceptions of harm, such strategies appear insufficient to produce behavior change related to NMUPD. On the other hand, educational strategies that do more than merely disseminate information are associated with reductions in NMUPD consumption and consequences. These types of educational strategies include those that are:

  • Implemented system-wide. Prescribers educated on state-level dosing guidelines and proper use of the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) reduced their inappropriate prescribing habits and their patients had fewer overdose deaths.1
  • Based on a formative research. Exposure to social marketing campaigns that are grounded in local data and designed using feedback from the target audience was associated with declines in unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opioids.2

Educational strategies summarized in this section include the following:

1 Cochella, S., & Bateman, K. (2012). Provider detailing: an intervention to decrease prescription opioid deaths in Utah. Pain Medicine, 12(Suppl 2) S73–S76

2 Johnson, E. M., Porucznik, C. A., Anderson, J. W., & Rolfs, R. T. (2011). State-level strategies for reducing prescription drug overdose deaths: Utah’s prescription safety program. Pain Medicine, 12(Suppl 2), S66–S72.