Promoting interprofessional student outcomes through the narrative of an opioid use disorder survivor

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The inappropriate use of opioids is a national concern. Experts suggest a multifaceted, collaborative practice approach to reduce mortality rates in complex healthcare issues is effective. Before practice, students require education to address the development of interprofessional (IP) skills. The purpose of this mixed-methods cohort study was to identify changes in student self-perceived value of IP socialization skills and to explore student perceptions of IP engagement in the context of the opioid crisis, before and after a combined IP panel and focus group discussion using a healthcare professional’s journey from addiction into recovery. Thirty-three pre-licensure healthcare students in Schools of Counseling, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, and Physical Therapy assessed their IP experience using the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale (ISVS). The IP event included interactive discussions with a panel of healthcare providers, a pharmacist in recovery from opioid use disorder, and a local prescription drug awareness and prevention advocate. Significant differences occurred between pre and post ISVS scores in the perceived value of IP collaborative work. Results from the qualitative analysis revealed a need for student-driven self-reflection before the discussions evolved to address the perspectives of future practitioner, the patient, and the healthcare system. Creating a real-time, face-to-face interaction with a panel of healthcare practitioners, an opioid survivor in concert with a local prescription drug prevention advocate may be an effective means toward improving teaching IP value and progressing student outcomes toward IP skill attainment.

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