Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Methadone is a mu-opioid agonist used in the treatment of patients with an opioid use disorder in an outpatient addiction treatment clinic. A recognized knowledge gap exists among nurses managing overweight and obese patients in an outpatient methadone treatment center in the northeastern United States. The goal of this project was to develop a weight management toolkit to assist nurses in the identification, evaluation, and management of overweight and obese patients receiving methadone treatment at the center. The evidence-based weight management toolkit incorporated practice guidelines from the American Heart Association, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, America College of Cardiology, and the Obesity Medical Association. The project was evaluated by 8 content experts in primary care and addiction medicine. A 5-point Likert-scale survey was used to measure experts' responses. The survey evaluated the relevance of the weight management educational toolkit in relation to nurses' preparedness to assess, identify, and manage patients on methadone treatment with negative weight gain. Results indicated that toolkit content was beneficial in guiding nurses on the use of evidence-based guidelines to promote weight management treatment for patients on methadone. The toolkit supports social change by providing nurses with the tools necessary to increase their knowledge and skills to manage patients' weight gain on methadone, thus promoting improved patient outcomes.