Doctoral Project Defense: Karen Muncy

Candidate Name: Karen M. Muncy

Major: Nursing Practice

Advisor: Edilma Yearwood, Ph.D.

Title: An Exploration of a Substance Abuse Treatment Program and Its Effects On Opioid Addicted Adults’ Ability To Maintain Recovery  

As deaths related to opioids continue to increase across the country, with more than 41,000 deaths in 2016, a dark cloud looms over Florida as the state strives to contain the epidemic. There were 779 deaths related to opioids in Florida in 2015, which increased to 2,798 in 2016, making their death rate 14.4 compared to 13.3 nationwide. This study sought to explore a substance abuse treatment facility, evaluating patient satisfaction with treatment and how their level of satisfaction related to maintaining recovery. The use of Vivitrol, a staple treatment for opioid dependence at the study site, was assessed for a link between its use, satisfaction, and maintenance of recovery.

This was an exploratory mixed methods study which utilized surveys with follow-up individual interviews. 32 patients completed the Treatment Perceptions Questionnaire and demographics, and six patients participated in follow-up interviews, each of which demonstrated satisfaction with their treatment. A series of independent sample t-tests were computed to assess how the variables of mandating treatment, gender, vivitrol and current sobriety were related to the 2 TPQ dependent variable subscales of staff and program effectiveness. There were no significant differences for staff and program perception for any of the variables. For the continuous variables of age, times in treatment and length of treatment, a correlation analysis indicated no significant relationships. The only correlation found was that as perception of the staff increased, so did perception of program effectiveness. Follow-up interviews confirmed patients’ satisfaction with the program while giving valuable insight into their struggle to maintain recovery. Common themes included: 1) Community support 2) Attachment to smoking 3) Outside/Inside activities, and 4) Ideal program characteristics to maintain recovery. Findings will inform DNP role in programmatic recommendations and assist in making organizational changes designed to assist opioid addicted patients in maintaining their recovery.

Friday, November 16, 2018 at 9:35am to 11:00am

St. Mary's Hall, 110
3700 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington

Event Type

Academic Events, Dissertation Defense


School of Nursing & Health Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences



Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Peggy Slota

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