Nurses’ experiences caring for patients with opioid use disorders

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
April Messer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Debra Wallace

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine nurses’ experience of quality care for hospitalized patients with a history of opioid use disorder or self-injection of opioids and whether hospital, unit, or nurse characteristics impacted experiences of quality care. A secondary aim of the study was to understand how nurses’ experiences of quality care for this population have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Institute of Medicine’s Six Domains of Health Care Quality were used to define quality care in this study. A national sample of 179 nurses completed an online survey regarding their experiences caring for patients with opioid use disorders. The majority of the participants were staff nurses who worked in emergency departments, critical care units, or mother baby units. Only 41.9% of the participants had received education regarding substance use disorders from their employers, and even less had participated in harm reduction education. Only 45% of the nurses had knowledge regarding harm reduction strategies for this population. The participants experienced a low number of restrictive safety measures and an average number of adverse events and effective care interventions when caring for patients with opioid use disorders. The nurses rated quality care and satisfaction as average. Correlation and linear regression analysis suggested trends in nurse, hospital and unit characteristics that are associated with nurses’ experiences caring for this population; substance use disorder education, harm reduction education, and unit type were most often associated with nurses’ experiences. Content analysis of open-ended questions regarding equity, patient-centeredness, timeliness and the impact of COVID-19 on experiences of quality care supported quantitative findings in the study and provided insight into the nurses’ experiences. The findings in this study contribute to current evidence regarding the need for standardized hospital policies and practices aimed at improving quality care for patients with opioid use disorders. These policies and practices should incorporate harm reduction strategies that are patient-centered and evidence-based. Hospitals and nursing schools should provide education aimed at reducing stigma and improving care for this population.Keywords: opioid use disorder, substance abuse disorder, hospital care, hospital policies

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Hospital care, Hospital policies, Nursing care, Opioid use disorder, Substance use disorder
Opioid abuse $x Treatment
Nurses $x Attitudes
Nurse and patient

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