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Evaluation of an opioid and addiction treatment tele-education program for healthcare providers in a rural and frontier state

Madeline P. Casanova, PhD, Megan C. Nelson, PhD, Kayla C. Blades, MPA, Lachelle H. Smith, MPP, Jeffrey G. Seegmiller, EdD, Russell T. Baker, PhD


Objective: To develop and evaluate a relevant and readily accessible post-professional opioid use disorder (OUD) education program for a rural and frontier state.

Design: Observational study.

Setting/participants: Healthcare providers enrolled in Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Idaho Opioid, a tele-mentoring education program.

Main outcome measure: Participant-level demographics of those that attended the ECHO Idaho Opioid program and post-session and program evaluation surveys.

Results: A total of 273 individuals attended at least one ECHO Idaho Opioid session (per session average = 22.8); 183 post-session evaluations (per session average = 6.3) and 42 program evaluations were completed. The program was well received by providers in a rural and frontier state and may be a viable option to enhance patient care for OUD patients in these communities.

Conclusion: The Project ECHO model is successful at reaching providers across diverse geographic regions, overcoming barriers associated with attending advanced trainings or developing peer networks to improve patient care. The model can be used to develop educational content and delivery that participants believe is satisfactory, valuable, and applicable to their profession and practice.


telehealth, opioid use disorder, behavioral health, rural health

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