The effects of a postgraduate course on opioid-prescribing patterns of general practitioners

J Cancer Educ. 2000 Winter;15(4):214-7. doi: 10.1080/08858190009528700.


Background: The objective of this study is to evaluate whether a single palliative cancer care workshop, which included information about drug prescribing, had an effect on the opioid-prescription patterns of general practitioners in daily practice.

Method: The opioid-prescription figures of 68 general practitioners who had participated in the workshop were aggregated from the computer system of the Regional Sick Fund. The prescription figures of a year before and a year after the workshop were compared and a control group of non-participants was included.

Results: This study showed a limited efficacy of a palliative cancer care workshop on the morphine-prescription figures of the general practitioners in daily practice. This limited effect did not accord with the results of a pre- and post-workshop questionnaire evaluating the attitudes of the same practitioners.

Conclusion: A single workshop can not effectuate substantial changes in prescription behaviors. Possibilities for more reinforcements are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Utilization*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Fentanyl / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Morphine / therapeutic use
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Netherlands
  • Odds Ratio
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*


  • Narcotics
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl