Prevention Strategies Launches National Study To Help Prevent Opioid Misuse

Construction and Nursing-Related Industries Invited To Participate In Evidence-Based Prevention Study

To help address the national opioid crisis that impacts more than 10 million Americans each year, Prevention Strategies has launched a national study meant to prevent prescription opioid misuse and overuse among workers in industries with high risk for injury and opioid prescriptions.

Prevention Strategies received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pursue the study and develop a commercially viable intervention tool based on prevention science. Known as WorkWell, it is a tailored mobile health (mHealth) app that represents the next generation of evidence-based, technology-aided intervention programs. 

The initial pilot program to test the WorkWell app will focus on construction trade workers and nurses, as well as nursing assistants and technicians. These occupations have been disproportionately impacted by the opioid crisis and have high mortality ratios.

“Opioid-involved overdoses are among the leading causes of death in the United States despite extensive public health efforts to increase education and reduce the misuse or overuse of these powerful drugs,” said Dr. David Wyrick, president of Prevention Strategies. “There are particular risks for opioid misuse in industries with high injury rates such as construction and nursing. We are committed to helping employers provide better education, training and tools to proactively prevent this pervasive problem.”

The WorkWell mobile app features evidence-based educational and behavioral strategies to prevent prescription opioid misuse and overuse. The app includes brief, dynamic educational lessons, pain management and prevention exercises, language to use with providers when discussing pain and injury, conversations with industry experts, and data visualization for pain.

“The majority of opioid prevention efforts to date have focused on restricting access to opioids, dose-limit laws, prescription take-back days, stricter prescription guidelines and increased law enforcement, but none of these efforts concentrate on evidence-based interventions,” said Dr. Wyrick. “We are adapting proven mobile health approaches based on prevention science, and we are encouraged by the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach.” 

Construction companies, healthcare systems and hospitals interested in learning more about the WorkWell mHealth program, and potentially having employees participate in the study, should e-mail for more information. 

About Prevention Strategies

Prevention Strategies, LLC, a research and commercialization affiliate of UNC Greensboro, brings together research professionals and commercialization specialists to translate prevention science into evidence-based programs and approaches that improve the overall health and wellness of individuals and communities. 

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Cara Neely

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