Development and pilot of a prescription drug monitoring program and communication intervention for pharmacists

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2020 Oct;16(10):1422-1430. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.12.023. Epub 2020 Jan 8.


Background: Pharmacists' role in addressing the opioid crisis continues to expand, but lack of training specifically related to standardized prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) use and communication strategies for provider and patient interactions remains a significant issue. We developed the Resources Encouraging Safe Prescription Opioid and Naloxone Dispensing (RESPOND) Toolkit to enhance community pharmacists' understanding of their role in addressing opioid safety; improve integration of PDMP into daily workflow; and enhance communication between pharmacists, prescribers, and patients.

Objective: To describe the development of RESPOND Toolkit and summarize findings from initial pilot testing.

Methods: RESPOND development was informed by focus groups with patients, prescribers, and pharmacists and an external advisory committee. Materials developed include a patient screening & communication algorithm, a provider communication checklist and an online continuing education course with three distinct modules. The RESPOND Toolkit was pilot tested in six community pharmacies in Oregon across two 6-month intervention phases. Pilot data collection included a pre-post intervention survey, pre-post knowledge assessment quizzes within the online course, and post-intervention semi-structured interviews. Interview feedback informed revisions after each phase to shape the final content, flow, and delivery of RESPOND.

Results: Sixteen of 21 pharmacists completed the online training, revealing a large, significant effect on knowledge gain across the three training modules (pre-score 57, post-score 84; p < 0.001; Cohen's d = 1.85). Of these participants, 10 also completed the baseline and post intervention survey and showed non-significant moderate improvements in knowledge, perceived behavioral control, and self-efficacy to address opioid safety issues.

Conclusion: The RESPOND Toolkit has promise as an effective and scalable approach to providing community pharmacist-tailored training, especially in the areas of effective communication and workflow integration, to promote behavioral shifts supporting opioid safety for patients. Further development and testing in a larger sample is warranted.

Keywords: Communication; Community pharmacist; Opioid safety; PDMP; Toolkit; Training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Naloxone
  • Oregon
  • Pharmacists*
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs*


  • Naloxone