A Pilot Interprofessional Course on Substance Use Disorders to Improve Students' Empathy and Counseling Skills.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Objective. To implement and assess the effectiveness of an interprofessional course designed to provide pharmacy and nursing students with opportunities to improve their understanding of substance use disorders (SUDs), assess their attitudes toward patients with SUDs, receive instruction and feedback on behavior change counseling, and engage in interprofessional education. Methods. The course consisted of four interactive class sessions that focused on empathy and recognition of personal bias, behavioral change counseling, and SUD recognition, screening, and treatment. Classes were taught by an interprofessional faculty member. Students also attended a 12-step recovery meeting in the community, counseled an authentic patient using behavioral change counseling, and received feedback based on a faculty member's direct observation of their counseling. Students completed validated assessments of their attitudes toward patients with SUDs and interprofessional collaboration. A faculty member used the Behavioral Change Counseling Index (BECCI) to assess students' counseling of SUD patients. Counseled patients were asked their preference for follow-up care for their SUD. Results. Twenty-seven pharmacy and nursing students completed this course, along with 51 students from other professions. The pharmacy and nursing students demonstrated significant improvements in their attitudes toward patients with SUDs and toward interprofessional collaboration, as measured by the Substance Abuse Attitudinal Scale (SAAS) and Student Perception of Interprofessional Clinical Education (SPICE-R2). Approximately 93% of pharmacy and nursing students counseled a patient with a SUD, with 96% of counseled patients reporting their intent to receive follow-up care. Conclusion. An interprofessional SUD course enriched pharmacy and nursing students' understanding, attitudes, and behaviors toward patients with SUDs and interprofessional collaboration. Students demonstrated an ability to provide behavior change counseling to patients, and 96% of counseled patients stated a willingness for follow-up care for their SUD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Muzyk, A; Mullan, P; Andolsek, K; Derouin, A; Smothers, Z; Sanders, C; Holmer, S

Published Date

  • April 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 7415 -

PubMed ID

  • 32431303

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7223935

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1553-6467

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5688/ajpe7415


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States