Adolescent Addiction Curriculum: Impact on Knowledge Self-Assessment in Pediatric Learners

MedEdPORTAL. 2018 May 7:14:10716. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10716.


Introduction: Addiction is developmentally a pediatric-onset disease. Adolescent addiction recently gained the nation's attention due to the steep increase in opioid-related drug overdose deaths. Educating future adolescent health providers on adolescent addiction is a strategic initiative to mitigate the impact of this challenging public health concern.

Methods: We used a logic model worksheet to identify key target areas informing the curriculum content development. The curriculum was written to be delivered in three successive parts-the Science of Addiction, Adolescence and Addiction, and Diagnosis and Treatment-each within a 2-hour interactive lecture session using PowerPoint presentations, brief videos, and learner activities. We collected data using pre- and postsession self-evaluation questionnaires. We calculated mean differences in scores and obtained qualitative data from learner comments.

Results: Sessions were well received by attendees. A total of 31 participants attended at least one session. Knowledge of adolescent addiction increased in each session, with the greatest increase in the Science of Addiction (1.6, p = .0011), followed by Diagnosis and Treatment (1.1, p < .0001) and Adolescence and Addiction (0.9, p < .0001).

Discussion: Attendance at one or more sessions improved participants' addiction-related knowledge. Graduate medical training programs can provide adolescent addiction education using systematic curricula such as this. Furthermore, this curriculum can be adapted to suit different groups of learners.

Keywords: Addiction; Adolescence; Adolescent; Alcohol; Curriculum; Graduate Medical Education; Mental Health; Physician-in-Training; Substance Use; Substance-Related Disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Addiction Medicine / methods*
  • Addiction Medicine / trends
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Curriculum / trends*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology