Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Naser, Lisa


With more than 130 people dying daily, 47,000 overdose-related deaths per year, and $55 billion in societal costs, the opioid epidemic is producing widespread, catastrophic consequences on the population and healthcare system. Healthcare providers report high concern and lack of confidence that their training prepared them adequately to manage chronic pain with opioid therapy. There is insufficient evidence determining whether educating healthcare providers on opioid prescribing guidelines leads to improved knowledge, confidence, and a decrease in concern. The aim of this study is to assess the knowledge, confidence, and concern of 2020 Bethel University physician assistant (PA) students of opioid prescribing before and after completing a series of opioid prescribing training modules created by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 28 Bethel University PA students were included, with one participant's data being removed due to not completing the post-assessment. Results demonstrated statistically significant increases in knowledge (pre-assessment 12.26 ± 2.25, post-assessment 14.96 ± 1.58, t(26) = 6.55, p = 0.00) and confidence (pre-assessment 3.70 ± 2.00, post-assessment 5.89 ± 1.42, t(26) = 4.73, p = 0.00), and decrease in concern (pre-assessment 7.18 ± 1.9, post-assessment 5.52 ± 1.78, t(26) = –4.60, p = 0.00) regarding appropriate prescribing of opioids. These findings suggest that CDC’s opioid prescribing training modules are effective in educating PA students, improving their knowledge, confidence and decreasing concern when prescribing opioids.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons