Public Access to Naloxone: Provider Awareness and Prescribing Attitudes

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Kathryn L. Dambrino, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, Belmont University, Nashville, TN, USA




Drug overdose deaths have become an escalating epidemic in the United States (U.S.) and are recognized as the leading cause of injury death. To combat opioid overdose, naloxone distribution to the public has been initiated in some states as a harm reduction strategy. Although new laws have been implemented allowing providers to prescribe naloxone for layperson use, minimal data is available to evaluate providers’ awareness, attitudes, and intentions to prescribe naloxone.


            The purpose of this doctoral project is to describe and correlate the awareness, attitudes, and intentions of Tennessee providers in response to the Naloxone Rescue Act.


            The sample of physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) from 306 certified pain medicine clinics in the state of Tennessee will be invited to complete electronic surveys assessing knowledge of naloxone laws, attitudes toward public access to naloxone, and intentions to prescribe naloxone. Using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) for statistical calculation, survey responses will be analyzed to determine if a linear correlation exists. Descriptive statistics will be used to display provider sociodemographic information.           


            The investigator anticipates description and correlation of the awareness, attitudes, and intentions of 50% of the invited providers. Descriptive statistics will help illustrate and explain the characteristics of the sample. Linear correlation results will help determine if a positive or negative relationship exists between provider awareness, attitudes, and intentions. From the findings, the investigator may also develop a standardized prescribing tool, which will both educate and guide prescribing practices for Tennessee providers, based on the providers’ responses.


            Because public access to naloxone is a relatively new approach to overdose prevention, more research is needed to evaluate provider awareness and willingness to prescribe naloxone to patients. Information about provider prescribing patterns will be useful for policymakers and healthcare professionals to efficiently implement public naloxone distribution.