Changing BSN Students’ Stigma Toward Patients Who Use Alcohol and Opioids Through Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Education and Training: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stigma associated with substance use is considered a barrier to implementing Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and assisting patients to receive appropriate treatment. OBJECTIVES: To test the efficacy of SBIRT education and training in changing undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes about working with patients who have problems with alcohol and opioid use. DESIGN: A sample of 49 undergraduate nursing students were surveyed, using five subscales, at three time points. RESULTS: After a 15-week semester that included (a) SBIRT education and (b) weekly clinical experiences with patients who had alcohol use problems the undergraduate nursing students’ stigma decreased as measured by three of the five subscales. The students’ attitudes toward working with patients who had opioid use problems exhibited favorable change as measured by four of the five subscales. CONCLUSION: SBIRT education and training for undergraduate nursing students might help mitigate some of their stigma toward working with patients who have mild to moderate alcohol and opioid use problems.

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