Patient Factors ID'd That Predict Low or No Postoperative Opioid Use

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By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2023 -- Younger age, being opioid-naïve, and a lower discharge pain score are associated with low or no postoperative opioid use, according to a study published online in the December issue of Annals of Surgery Open.

Anish K. Agarwal, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues sought to identify patient-level variables associated with low or no use that can inform tailored prescribing. The analysis included 3,603 patients undergoing surgery (May 1, 2021, to Feb. 29, 2022).

The researchers found variation in patient-reported use, with 28.1 percent of men reporting zero use versus 24.3 percent of women. Self-reported zero use was also lower among Black versus White patients (20.5 versus 27.2 percent). More zero use was reported among opioid-naïve patients versus those with chronic use (29.7 versus 9.8 percent). Higher use was associated with more telephone calls and office visits within 30 days but not emergency department utilization or admissions. Higher use was also associated with a higher discharge pain score. Higher than guideline-recommended opioid use was associated with age, male sex, obesity, discharge pain score, and a history of mental health disorder, while younger age and being opioid-naïve were associated with low to zero use across procedures.

"The next steps here are to take this research and translate it into actual clinical practice," Agarwal said in a statement. "We've already used the feedback from our patients to help support our existing guidelines, and with this data our clinicians can become even more specific to personalize the approach to pain management for patients."

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Source: HealthDay

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