Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Cameron Ethridge, DNP, FNP, AG-ACNP

Cameron Ethridge
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Laurie Connors, DNP, APRN, FAANP
  • Committee Member Name & Credentials:
    Jana Lauderdale, PhD, RN, FAAN

DNP Project Abstract

Screening of Primary Care Patients on Opioid Pain Medications for Potential Opioid Abuse

The purpose of this DNP quality improvement project was to implement the use of an opioid abuse screening tool in a rural primary care clinic setting, where previously none existed.

This quality improvement project used the Model for Improvement (MFI) which included the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Using the Webster Opioid Abuse Screening Tool (Webster, 2005) a project team was created and objectives set. The tool was implemented over a 5 week period, with 53% of the participants identifying as Native American. The tool asks several questions which are scored, the higher the score, the greater the risk for opioid abuse.

An adult primary care population of 34 patients, seen in the pain management clinic, were screened. Following successful implementation of the tool, 28 of the 34 scored in the high-risk category, indicating the tool provided valuable information to assess risk. It was also discovered that gender and cultural bias may exist in the tool and need further evaluation.

Implications for Practice
The findings of this project support using an opioid risk screening tool. The tool provided insight into patients at high risk for opioid abuse and may be useful in guiding decisions related to care and referrals.