Computer + Fluency | Evaluation of a Computerized Opioid Overdose Prevention Program

Computer + Fluency research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Unintentional fatal drug overdose (OD) is now the 2nd leading cause of accidental death in the general population. Fatal OD from opioid analgesics specifically has increased over 400% between 1999 and 2008, and nonfatal overdose occurs at a rate 3-7 greater than fatal OD. Unintentional opioid OD is a public health crisis in several societal populations including drug users, patients being treated for chronic pain, elderly individuals, adolescents, and children. Educational interventions have been developed to increase knowledge regarding opioid OD risk factors, symptoms, and appropriate responses, however no randomized controlled evaluations of these interventions have been conducted. Within-subject evaluations report immediate and sustained increases in participant knowledge and behavior change, yet these programs suffer from limitations that may limit their widespread dissemination. Thus, there is an urgent, critical need to develop an opioid OD educational intervention that can be accessed by a broad audience, and produces immediate and sustained gains in knowledge in an easily administered and cost-effective way. This study will develop a web-based, computerized, interactive, opioid OD education training program that will incorporate multi-media learning components and fluency training to produce knowledge gains. This program will be evaluated using a randomized, controlled comparison of the active intervention against two control interventions. Participants will be recruited from a brief inpatient detoxification (n=75), will receive the intervention immediately upon completing the detoxification (post-treatment), and will complete 2 follow-up visits to evaluate sustained knowledge. The primary outcome will be percent change from baseline on a knowledge test that is administered immediately before and after the intervention, and at a 1 and 3-month follow-up visit. Secondary outcomes will include self-reported behavior change and participant acceptance of the intervention. The study hypothesis is that participants who receive the primary intervention will evidence the largest increase in knowledge gain and retention over time, compared to the control groups. The rationale and public health benefit of this research cannot be understated- this project will make available a brief, empirically-supported intervention that can be administered quickly and easily within hundreds of settings (e.g., treatment centers, prisons and jails, needle exchange centers, primary care offices, schools), and to diverse patient populations (e.g., drug users, chronic pain patients, elderly, student, children, parents). These outcomes are expected to have a positive impact because they will provide cheap, easily-administered intervention strategy that will help reduce the current national epidemic of opioid OD, and will expand the use of computerized interventions to address public health issues more broadly.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Age (>18yrs old) - Past yr diagnosis of opioid dependence - Recent completion of opioid detoxification Exclusion Criteria: - Completion of local overdose prevention programs and/or beta-testing of the computerized intervention - Physical limitations that will prevent adequate seeing/hearing of the intervention, or from using computer

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Computer + Fluency

Computer Only

Treatment as Usual

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:Computer + Fluency

Behavioral:Computer Only

Behavioral:Treatment as Usual

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Computer + FluencyWill receive computerized intervention and will be required to periodically demonstrate mastery of information before proceeding to the next module in the computerized intervention.

Computer OnlyWill receive computerized intervention but will not be required to demonstrate mastery of information as part of the intervention.

Treatment as UsualWill receive publicly available pamphlets that contain same information as the computerized intervention. Will not have access to computerized intervention and will not be required to demonstrate mastery of information as part of the intervention.

Study Status


Start Date: January 2015

Completed Date: September 2015

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Knowledge Gain

Secondary Outcome: Percent Participants Who Would Recommend the Intervention to a Family Member or Friend.

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator:

Lead Sponsor: Johns Hopkins University

Collaborator: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

More information:

Discuss Overdose