A content review of online naloxone Continuing Education courses for pharmacists in states with standing orders

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Background:Many community pharmacists are uncomfortable educating patients about naloxone, an opioid reversal agent.Objective:To examine whether training materials prepare pharmacists to counsel patients and caregivers about naloxone, online naloxone education materials for pharmacists in the 13 states with standing orders were analyzed.Methods:Two coders reviewed 12 naloxone training programs and extracted data for 15 topics that were clustered in four categories: background/importance, naloxone products, business/operations, and communication. Programs that included communication content were coded for whether they: 1) suggested specific verbiage for naloxone counseling; 2) recommended evidence-based communication practices; and 3) included example naloxone conversations.Results:Most programs covered the majority of topics, with the exception of extended treatment for individuals who overdose and naloxone storage/expiration information. Eleven programs addressed pharmacist-patient communication, although information on communication was often limited. Only one program included an example pharmacist-patient naloxone conversation, but the conversation was 10 min long and occurred in a private room, limiting its applicability to most community pharmacies.Conclusions:Online naloxone training materials for pharmacists include limited content on how to communicate with patients and caregivers. Training materials that include more in-depth content on communication may increase pharmacists' confidence to discuss the topics of overdose and naloxone.

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