Does a structured education plan have a significant impact on opioid use?

The opioid epidemic has reached epic proportions and is now considered a public health issue. According to NIDA, approximately 115 Americans experience a fatal opioid overdose daily (2018). The purpose of the study is to determine if an intensive educational plan for patients prescribed an opioid can deter misuse that can lead to abuse. This would be considered a qualitative study in grounded theory as described by Suzanne Sutherland (2017).
Research Question
Does a structured education plan have a significant impact on opioid use?
Sampling Plan
Random, or probability, sampling methods would be of most use to this study as this can ensure that the population has equal probability of being chosen for the study (Nieswiadomy, 2012). Simple, random sampling can identify the accessible population then data collection can occur. Patients that are prescribed opioids will have a detailed education plan. These patients than then be mailed, emailed, interviewed by phone, or access an app for completion of a survey. This can ensure anonymity and decrease the chances for misrepresentation of the patient’s opioid use. The sample size will be appropriate as not all patients will respond. The sampling can be taken from the patients that wish to participate. However, there is still the opportunity for patients to misrepresent their opioid use.
Research Design
Ideally, this study will be a nonexperimental qualitative design due to the need of relying on self-reporting on behalf of the patient. To expand this even further, participatory action research (PAR) would be most beneficial to this study as it incorporates not only the findings from the research, but also uses the study participants as an integral part of the interdisciplinary work group. However, this may be limited as the want for anonymity may outweigh the benefit oversight in the patient’s perception (Bradbury, 2015).
Bradbury, H. (2015). The SAGE handbook of action research. 3rd ed. SAGE Reference. Boston, MA.
Gray, J., Grove, S. & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: appraisal, synthesis and generation of evidence. 8th ed. Elsevier Health Science Division.St. Louis, MO.
National Institute on drug Abuse. (2018). Opioid overdose crisis. Retrieved from:
Nieswiadomy, R. (2012). Foundations of nursing research (6th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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