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Online education for safer opioid prescribing in hospitals—lessons learnt from the Opioid Use Change (OUCh) project

Gliszczynski, Konrad, Hindmarsh, Alice, Ellis, Samantha, Ling, Jonathan and Anderson, Kirstie N (2023) Online education for safer opioid prescribing in hospitals—lessons learnt from the Opioid Use Change (OUCh) project. Postgraduate Medical Journal. pp. 1-5. ISSN 0032-5473

Item Type: Article


Opioids are often required for acute inpatient pain relief but lack of knowledge about common and less common long-term side effects can lead to inappropriate discharge prescribing. There are few validated educational tools available for junior prescribers on hospital wards. Education around opioid prescribing and deprescribing remains limited in the undergraduate curriculum and yet almost all controlled drug prescribing in hospitals is done by junior doctors.

A 5-minute video was developed with iterative feedback from medical students, junior prescribers, pain specialists, primary care educational leads, and a patient who had developed opioid addiction after hospital prescribing. It explained the need for clear stop dates on discharge summaries and the range of opioid side effects. It also highlighted the hospital admission as an opportunity to reduce inappropriate high-dose opioids. A short knowledge-based quiz before and after viewing the video was used to evaluate the impact on and change in knowledge and confidence around opioid prescribing. This tool was designed to be used entirely online to allow delivery within existing mandatory training.

Feedback was positive and showed that knowledge of side effects significantly increased but also contacts with ward pharmacists and the acute pain team increased. Junior doctors highlighted that the undergraduate curriculum did little to prepare them for prescription addiction and that pharmacy and senior support was needed to support any changes in longer-term, high-dose opioids.

This short educational video improved knowledge of safe opioid prescribing and could be incorporated within wider opioid education in UK healthcare.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: opioids, online education, deprescribing, medicines safety
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Depositing User: Jonathan Ling


Item ID: 15633
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ISSN: 0032-5473
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ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2023 09:24
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2023 09:24


Author: Jonathan Ling ORCID iD
Author: Konrad Gliszczynski
Author: Alice Hindmarsh
Author: Samantha Ellis
Author: Kirstie N Anderson

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Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Sciences > Health Sciences

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