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Education and Assessment for Overdose Prevention: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines

Last updated: September 24, 2015
Project Number: RC0703-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of education programs for opioid users or healthcare providers for preventing overdose?
  2. What is the clinical effectiveness of tools to determine the risk of misuse or overdose for preventing overdose?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines for determining the risk of misuse or overdose?

Key Message

One prospective before-after study found that the use of a web-based, interactive, educational intervention resulted in a decrease in self-reported misuse behaviours at one month post-intervention in patients from a pain and a dental clinic. This study was limited by the small sample size, short duration of follow-up, and the use of self-reported measures. One retrospective chart review examined the use of the Opioid Risk Tool for predicting abnormal urine screens, and found that a higher proportion of patients categorized as moderate risk and high risk had an abnormal urine drug screen result compared to those categorized with low risk, though the majority of abnormal tests were abnormal for marijuana alone. However, this study was limited by the fact that not all patients received a urine drug screen, and patients with a higher risk categorization were more likely to receive a urine drug screen. No evidence-based guidelines for determining the risk of misuse or overdose were identified in the literature.