Modeling the Impact of Simulated Educational Interventions on the Use and Abuse of Pharmaceutical Opioids in the United States: A Report on Initial Efforts

Wayne Wakeland, Alexandra Nielsen, Teresa D. Schmidt, Dennis McCarty, Lynn R. Webster, John Fitzgerald, J. David Haddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three educational interventions were simulated in a system dynamics model of the medical use, trafficking, and nonmedical use of pharmaceutical opioids. The study relied on secondary data obtained in the literature for the period of 1995 to 2008 as well as expert panel recommendations regarding model parameters and structure. The behavior of the resulting systems-level model was tested for fit against reference behavior data. After the base model was tested, logic to represent three educational interventions was added and the impact of each intervention on simulated overdose deaths was evaluated over a 7-year evaluation period, 2008 to 2015. Principal findings were that a prescriber education intervention not only reduced total overdose deaths in the model but also reduced the total number of persons who receive opioid analgesic therapy, medical user education not only reduced overdose deaths among medical users but also resulted in increased deaths from nonmedical use, and a "popularity" intervention sharply reduced overdose deaths among nonmedical users while having no effect on medical use. System dynamics modeling shows promise for evaluating potential interventions to ameliorate the adverse outcomes associated with the complex system surrounding the use of opioid analgesics to treat pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74S-86S
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume40
Issue number1 SUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • alcohol and substance abuse
  • dynamic modeling
  • modeling and simulation
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • substance use
  • systems science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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