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Background and Aims Surgery is a risk factor for persistent postoperative opioid use and pre-operative opioid use is associated with an increased risk of perioperative complications. Perioperative opioid stewardship (judicious use of opioids to treat surgical pain) is increasingly regarded as a solution to this problem. However, healthcare professionals lack a structured curriculum to develop the skills needed for competent opioid management. To address this, we developed a learning platform for a global, multidisciplinary audience.
Methods We describe the process and challenges in developing an innovative educational tool for perioperative opioid stewardship. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) concept has grown exponentially in availability and popularity since 2012. Delivered completely online, free to access and open to all, MOOCs defy traditional classroom limits, enabling education to be delivered at scale. A collaborative approach with an international, multidisciplinary faculty was required to maximise accessibility to this educational resource.
Results A three-week online, open-access, interactive course has been developed in partnership with University College London (UCL) Hospitals, UCL and FutureLearn. Focusing on opioid pharmacology, perioperative use of opioids and opioid stewardship, it brings together an international, multidisciplinary faculty with the input of patient experts. Over three weeks, participants will spend 3-4 hours per week learning via a mixture of written and audiovisual modalities: peer-reviewed articles, video interviews with clinicians and patients, interactive case discussions and quizzes. The MOOC is due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Conclusions A MOOC is an innovative approach to improve the understanding and implementation of perioperative opioid stewardship and transform practice.
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