Original Article

Content Analysis for a Statewide Substance Use Disorder and Pain Management Curriculum for Health Professional Students (ALAHOPE)

Authors: Heather D. Martin, MSBA, F. Darlene Traffanstedt, MD, Sue S. Feldman, RN, MEd, PhD


Objectives: Alabama’s health professions schools have many common goals when it comes to educating their students about substance use disorder (SUD) and pain, but a statewide consistent SUD and pain management curriculum does not exist in Alabama. The ALAbama Health professionals' Opioid and Pain management Education (ALAHOPE) project set out to create an interprofessional curriculum around SUD and pain management that all Alabama health professions schools can use to promote consistent evidence-based teaching and a patient-centered approach around these two topics. An adapted form of the Kern model of curriculum development was used to guide the project. The first dimension of this model is problem identification, which requires identifying the desired future state. One of many assessments performed to identify the desired future state was an analysis of six external curricula. The purpose of this assessment was to critically document and analyze existing SUD and pain management curricula to inform the ALAHOPE curriculum content.

Methods: The learning objectives and detailed content topics of each curriculum were documented and categorized into content topics. These broad topics were used as one piece of a cross-thematic analysis of several future state assessments that led to the development of broad curriculum goals for the ALAHOPE curriculum project.

Results: Common trends found in the analyzed curricula included learning objectives not being all-inclusive or not matching the actual curricula content, combining SUD and pain management content, and including the risks of treating pain with controlled substances in content solely created for pain management.

Conclusions: These results can be used to help inform other SUD and pain management educational content.

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