Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK): A Questionnaire to Assess Overdose Knowledge in Individuals Who Use Illicit or Prescribed Opioids

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Opioid overdose is a public health crisis. This study describes efforts to develop and validate the Brief Opioid Overdose Knowledge (BOOK) questionnaire to assess patient knowledge gaps related to opioid overdose risks.


Two samples of illicit opioid users and a third sample of patients receiving an opioid for the treatment of chronic pain (total N = 848) completed self-report items pertaining to opioid overdose risks.


A 3-factor scale was established, representing Opioid Knowledge (4 items), Opioid Overdose Knowledge (4 items), and Opioid Overdose Response Knowledge (4 items). The scale had strong internal and face validity. Patients with chronic pain performed worse than illicit drug users in almost all items assessed, highlighting the need to increase knowledge of opioid overdose risk to this population.


This study sought to develop a brief, internally valid method for quickly assessing deficits in opioid overdose risk areas within users of illicit and prescribed opioids, to provide an efficient metric for assessing and comparing educational interventions, facilitate conversations between physicians and patients about overdose risks, and help formally identify knowledge deficits in other patient populations.

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