Nurse Anesthesia Diversion Prevention: A Knowledge and Needs Gap Analysis

Academic Article


  • Background: Substance misuse is an occupational health problem for anesthesia providers (APs). More than 10% of nurse anesthetists misuse and divert medications. No standard exists for addressing AP drug diversion. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the use of a knowledge and needs assessment to inform the development of a successful drug diversion prevention program for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs). Methods: A 28-item questionnaire, using the health belief model (HBM) and the risk perception attitude (RPA) framework, was developed to assess knowledge, beliefs, and practices of substance misuse and diversion. RPA groups were determined by level of belief in self-risk and perceived efficacy of prevention strategies. The survey was emailed to 100 CRNAs and over 100 SRNAs. Survey results were organized using the RPA framework. Findings: One hundred twelve surveys were completed. The RPA avoidant category (high-risk belief and low perceived efficacy of preventive interventions) comprised 52.5% of CRNAs; SRNAs were divided primarily among the RPA responsive category with high perceived risk and high-efficacy beliefs (38.9%) and the indifferent category of low-risk beliefs and low perceived efficacy (31.9%). Conclusions/Applications to Practice: Anesthesia providers have varying beliefs regarding drug misuse and diversion risks and perceptions of their ability to be successful with preventive strategies. Failure to address nurse anesthesia needs-based diversion prevention may result in missed opportunities to educate this group. Implementation of RPA-tailored interventions by health care organizations may produce effective, long-term outcomes for drug diversion within the profession.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ades J; Sims C; Polancich S; Hammond S