Routine opioid outcome monitoring in community pharmacy: Outcomes from an open-label single-arm implementation-effectiveness pilot study

Suzanne Nielsen, Louisa Picco, Michala Kowalski, Paul Sanfilippo, Pene Wood, Sarah Larney, Raimondo Bruno, Alison Ritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In response to rising harms with prescription opioids, recent attention has focused on how to better utilise community pharmacists to monitor outcomes with opioid medicines. Objective: This pilot aimed to test the implementation of software-facilitated Routine Opioid Outcome Monitoring (ROOM). Methods: Community pharmacies in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia, were recruited to an open-label single-arm observational implementation-effectiveness pilot study. Pharmacists completed baseline and follow up interviews to measure change in knowledge and confidence following training on, and implementation of ROOM. Paired t-tests compared pre-post scores. Patients that participated were invited to complete a brief evaluation survey. Measures of feasibility and acceptability were collected. Results: Sixty-four pharmacists from 23 pharmacies were recruited and trained to conduct ROOM. Twenty pharmacies (87%) were able to implement ROOM, with four pharmacies completing the target of 20 screens. Pharmacists completed ROOM with 152 patients in total. Forty-four pharmacists provided baseline and follow-up data which demonstrated significant improvements in confidence identifying and responding to unmanaged pain, depression and opioid dependence. Despite increases, low to moderate confidence for these domains was reported at follow-up. Responses from pharmacists and patients indicated that implementation of ROOM was feasible and acceptable. Conclusions: Pharmacists’ confidence in identifying and responding to opioid-related problems significantly increased from baseline to follow up across several domains, however scores indicated that there is still significant scope to further increase confidence in responding to opioid-related problems. ROOM is feasible and acceptable, though more extensive pharmacist training with opportunity to practice skills may assist in developing confidence and skills in this challenging clinical area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1694-1701
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Community pharmacy
  • Implementation study
  • Naloxone
  • Opioids
  • Overdose
  • Pharmacy practice

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