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Older adults’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about prescription opioids

Susan Glose (School of Nursing, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Tamatha Arms (School of Nursing, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Noell Rowan (School of Social Work, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 6 April 2021

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes surrounding prescription opioid medications of community living older adults in southeast North Carolina.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional, descriptive, anonymous survey design of participants aged 55 or over was used.

Findings

Study participants (N = 119) reported bias in their attitudes and beliefs about the use and misuse of prescription opioid medications. Multiple regression analyses revealed that gender, age, work, marital status and education level all had significant results in explaining variance in the statistical models. Even though study participants demonstrated high levels of education and understanding of the potential of addiction to opiates, there were a number of misconceptions about prescription pain medications revealed.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of studies looking at older adults’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about prescription pain medications. This urges the necessity of increased awareness via further research, presentations and creative discourse to assist in the understanding of precursors of addiction and ways to deal with pain that do not automatically depend on prescription opioid medicines. Implications include outreach to a larger and more diverse sample to address knowledge, beliefs and attitudes surrounding prescription opioid medications of community living older adults in southeast North Carolina and beyond.

Keywords

Citation

Glose, S., Arms, T. and Rowan, N. (2021), "Older adults’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about prescription opioids", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 47-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-12-2020-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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