The Dark at the Top of the Stairs: Addressing the Escalation of the Opioid Epidemic Due to COVID-19

Health literacy is the skill that enables non-healthcare professionals to interpret medical information and translate it into behaviors, balancing the gravity of the situation and potential risk factors with confidence in precautionary steps. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a dangerous lack of basic health literacy. People were confronted with having to interpret statistics, such as differentiating case-rate mortality rates from overall mortality. Herd immunity, a term that is difficult even for public health experts to quantify, became a media talking point. The urgent need for understandable information launched a social media "infodemic" that was not always helpful. Higher levels of health literacy have been associated with less fear, less depression, and improved ability to assess risks/benefits of treatment. Public health authorities, the media, and political leaders are responsible for disseminating clear information, defining new or obscure terms in objective but friendly ways, and being balanced in presenting facts. States, medical organizations, and key opinion leaders proposed and implemented strategies to mitigate the pandemic's impact, which turned out to be positive for the pain patient; these included things like changes to prescribing laws and the use of telemedicine. This course will discuss what’s working and what needs to be improved in health literacy.

Additional Information

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PDF icon Slides and Disclosures3.05 MB
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AAFP
  • 1.00 AANP
  • 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
  • 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
06/01/2021
Course expires: 
06/01/2022
Rating: 
0

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AAFP
  • 1.00 AANP
  • 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
  • 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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Required Hardware/software

A computer with an internet connection
Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 7.x or higher, Firefox 4.x or higher, Safari 2.x or higher, or any other W3C standards compliant browser
Other additional software may be required such as PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat Reader.