Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Catherine Garner



In 2012, opioid prescriptions exceeded 250 million, which is equivalent to providing a prescription to every adult in the United States. Prescription opioids have contributed to over 100,000 deaths since the late 1990s with the greatest impact among adults 35 through 54 years of age. The purpose of this doctoral project was to introduce an evidence-based screening tool that will identify patients who are at risk of opioid misuse and aid in the development of the most effective treatment plan to manage chronic pain and avoid abuse. The Screener and Opioid Assessments for Patients with Pain (SOAPP), a screening tool, was given to 100 participants, both males and females between the ages of 25 and 65, in an outpatient pain clinic. The data collection method was a questionnaire consisting of 14 questions designed to predict behaviors of people using opioids for chronic pain. Participant questionnaire responses on the Likert-5-point scale of 0 (Never), 1 (Seldom), 2 (Sometimes), 3 (Often), and 4 (Very Often) were totaled with a score of 7 or above indicating a high risk for abuse. Once the SOAPP data were obtained scores were calculated and grouped into categories of low or high risk for opioid misuse or abuse. Results indicated that 25% of the participants scored at high risk for opioid misuse (22% were female and 27% male) implying that there was a need for additional monitoring by the physician and nurse practitioner. The mean age for high risk was 51 and for low risk 54. Pain management providers play a crucial role in the effectiveness and success of the patient's treatment. Positive social change may occur when assessment tools such as the SOAPP are used in the evaluation and management of patients with chronic pain and addiction.

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