Substance abuse is a major health problem in the United States today. The prevalence of the problem in primary health care settings mandates examination of the nurse practitioner's attitudes toward substance abuse. Research has demonstrated that the attitude of the health care provider toward the substance abuser can affect the level and quality of care rendered. This descriptive study was designed to examine the attitudes of nurse practitioners certified and practicing in Mississippi. Pender's revised Health Promotion Model was utilized as the theoretical framework for the study. The research question asked in this study was : What are the attitudes of nurse practitioners toward substance abuse? A sample of 98 Family, Adult, Gerontological, Pediatric, and Obstetric/Gynecology nurse practitioners registered with the Mississippi Board of Nursing was surveyed using the Brief Substance Abuse Attitude Survey. A demographic and clinical practice questionnaire was also utilized. Descriptive statistics were generated to describe the nurse practitioners' attitudes toward substance abuse. Responses to the instrument and questionnaire were analyzed using frequency distributions and percentages. Varying attitudes toward substance abuse were revealed in this study. A recommendation for practice drawn from the study was, as the incidence of substance abuse continues to escalate, nurse practitioners should evaluate self attitudes and beliefs to determine what factors might have been of influence in shaping their own attitudes. Further research is recommended to determine the effect of a substance abuse educational program on attitudes. A qualitative study examining the practitioners' attitudes through face-to-face interviews and journals is also recommended.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lynn Chilton

Second Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Third Advisor

Janice Giallourakis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons