Preferred Name

Joan Daversa

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing


Maria deValpine

Cheryl Sharp


The pervasiveness of legally prescribed opioids in the United States has led to increased post-surgical patients succumbing to opioid dependence. There is a vast disparity in pain management practices across clinical settings. The lack of well-defined policies specifying opioid prescribing practices for post-surgical patients has created inconsistency among providers. This situation creates a risk for misuse and long-term opioid dependence for patients. This policy analysis aims to implement an evidence-based opioid prescribing policy for post-surgical patients to improve current opioid prescribing practices and implement a best practice culture to reduce excessive opioid practices. Collins (2005) health policy analysis adapted from Bardachs eightfold path to more effective problem solving (2000) guided the assembly and comparison of three evidence-based policies to reduce adverse effects of overprescribing practices with opioids. Three policy options assessed prescribing guidelines, patient risk assessment tools, and multimodal analgesia therapy with the intent to implement one or more.

Keywords: dependence, opioids, policy analysis, post-surgical patients, opioid prescribing guidelines, risk assessment, pain management.



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