Mobile Apps & Resources: CDC Opioid Guideline


To keep you updated on the go, our ‘app of the month’ highlights one free informational app every month!

Librarian reviewers consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:
  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily an app user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria for evidence and usability are embedded in the review.

Please note that the reviewers are not healthcare professionals, and so cannot appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. The reviews are not endorsements.

View the AHS policy on Mobile Wireless Devices and Services.


CDC Opioid Guideline


CDC Opioid Guideline

Version reviewed

Android version  (LF),
iOS version 1.1.1 (MV) 

Device & OS used

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 5.0.2 (LF) iPhone 5s iOS 10.3.3 (MV) 

Date of review

June 18, 2019 (LF),
June 11, 2019 (MV) 

Reviewers Lance Fox (LF) & Marcus Vaska (MV)
Technician Support Brandie Bailey



Image Source: CDC Opioid Guideline, Apple App Store. ‚ÄčRetrieved on July 4, 2019 from:

Stated Purpose  

“The CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Mobile Application (App) serves as a quick reference guide for healthcare professionals to help apply the recommendations of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in clinical practice. The tool is intended to educate providers about the prescription opioid overdose epidemic and to inform clinical decision-making related to initiation, titration, and dosage safety when prescribing opioids.”

  • Google Play Store & “About” section in the app.

While no specific target audience is listed, this app would be of use to any clinician practicing in a chronic pain centre (in addition to general practitioner and pharmacist) 



No specific specialty

No specific profession but could be used by any healthcare practitioners involved in prescribing opioids for chronic pain in clinical practice. 



Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

The CDC Opioid Guideline app is a quick reference guide that allows you to browse and link directly to the CDC Guideline, checklists, fact sheets, videos, and other resources that support the guideline which are found on the CDC website. It also contains calculators and links to training materials. This is not a searchable resource with a grading system. 

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

This app is based on browsing an actual guideline and other materials that support its recommendations. Therefore, this isn’t like many other health apps with search capabilities. It would be nice to see individual names for authors/editors in some of the resources (which would bring this score up a little more) but regardless, we know that they are affiliated with the CDC which is a reputable organization.   

Organization of information

The app consists of 5 tabs along the bottom of the screen. You can toggle between each one and browse them individually:

  • Guideline
  • Calculator
  • Interviews
  • Glossary
  • Resources

The Guideline tab provides links to the full text of the guideline and links that allow you to jump straight to a particular recommendation within the full text. 

The Calculator is a tool that allows you to select a drug and calculate the total daily morphine milligram equivalent (MME). 

The Interviews tab consists of an overview on the principles of motivational interviewing (a patient-centred approach shown to elicit behavior change) and examples of conversations between patients and prescribers.

The Resources section links to other helpful websites, videos, educational materials, checklists/handouts, etc. 

The Glossary includes definitions for various key terms.


The app is very easy and straightforward to browse through. It only takes a few minutes to become familiar with it the content and navigation. 


The settings menu will allow you to select which tab is the default one and whether or not you want the PDF’s to open within the app. 

Internet connection required for use: No; 

Text search field: No; 

Browsable content: Yes; 

Advertisements: No; 

Pop-up advertisements: No; 

In-app purchases: No


Android Smartphones & Tablets 4.1 and up Last updated (as per Google Play listing): July 11, 2018;

iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, supports: iOS 9.2 or later. Last updated (as per App store listing): July 12, 2018;


11 MB (Android); 15.3 MB (iOS)

App Developer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Country of Origin

United States 


For comments, feedback, or questions regarding the design and features of the app: