Screening for problematic prescription opioid use.
ABSTRACT The proper medicinal use of opioids, in light of their notorious history and current relation to social ills, continues to be debated and remains unclear in several areas of medicine. This article will review several areas and points of controversy related to screening for potential problematic opioid behavior in chronic nonmalignant pain patients. Controversy over the prescription of opioids for chronic nonmalignant pain continues, despite the growing acceptance of this practice. Indeed, past research supports the beneficial use of opioids for noncancer pain. Unfortunately, traditional definitions of abuse and dependence, with their emphasis on tolerance and withdrawal, are inappropriate for chronic pain patients prescribed opioids. The component of traditional definitions of abuse and dependence that appears most applicable to chronic pain patients centers on the criterion that the patient continue to take the drug (in this case, the opioid) despite negative and harmful effects or despite any decrease in pain level. Although clinical observations exist about risk factors for opioid misuse in chronic pain patients, there is limited research. Further, the area of prescreening for problematic drug behavior is in its infancy. However, researchers have begun to delve into this challenging area and the application of rigorous empirical research will bring us closer to identifying those patients at risk so that their pain is managed without destructive outcomes in other areas of their life.
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ABSTRACT: Clinicians recognize the importance of monitoring aberrant medication-related behaviors of chronic pain patients while being prescribed opioid therapy. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM) for those pain patients already on long-term opioid therapy. An initial pool of 177 items was developed with input from 26 pain management and addiction specialists. Concept mapping identified six primary concepts underlying medication misuse, which were used to develop an initial item pool. Twenty-two pain and addiction specialists rated the items on importance and relevance, resulting in selection of a 40-item alpha COMM. Final item selection was based on empirical evaluation of items with patients taking opioids for chronic, noncancer pain (N=227). One-week test-retest reliability was examined with 55 participants. All participants were administered the alpha version of the COMM, the Prescription Drug Use Questionnaire (PDUQ) interview, and submitted a urine sample for toxicology screening. Physician ratings of patient aberrant behaviors were also obtained. Of the 40 items, 17 items appeared to adequately measure aberrant behavior, demonstrating excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Cutoff scores were examined using ROC curve analysis and reasonable sensitivity and specificity were established. To evaluate the COMM's ability to capture change in patient status, it was tested on a subset of patients (N=86) that were followed and reassessed three months later. The COMM was found to have promise as a brief, self-report measure of current aberrant drug-related behavior. Further cross-validation and replication of these preliminary results is pending.Pain 08/2007; 130(1-2):144-56. DOI:10.1016/j.pain.2007.01.014 · 5.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drug-seeking patients include recreational drug abusers, addicts whose dependence occurred through abuse or the injudicious prescription of narcotics, and pseudoaddicts who have chronic pain that has not been appropriately managed. Opioids produce euphoria in some patients, providing the motivation for abuse, which can be detrimental even with occasional use. Even in the absence of overt euphoria, opioids are highly self-reinforcing and can be problematic in a large number of patients, requiring that acute care physicians exercise caution in whom they are administered. Habitual patient files, narcotic contracts, pain management letters, and patient tracking and management programs can be used for the benefit of both drug seeking-patients and chronic pain patients. For many patients, drug-seekers and chronic pain patients alike, withholding opioids may be an important part of their long-term management. For others, long-acting opioids such as long-acting morphine or methadone are a reasonable option.Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 06/2005; 23(2):349-65. DOI:10.1016/j.emc.2004.12.006 · 0.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There has been a need for a brief assessment tool for providers who treat chronic pain patients to determine potential risk of abuse when prescribed opioids for pain. The purpose of this study was to develop and begin the validation of a self-administered screening tool (Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain, SOAPP) for chronic pain patients considered for long-term opioid therapy. A consensus of 26 pain and addiction experts was obtained on important characteristics of chronic pain patients that predict future medication misuse using concept mapping. A 24-item SOAPP (version 1.0) was developed based on this consensus and was administered to 175 patients who were taking opioids for chronic pain. After 6 months, 95 of these patients were re-evaluated. Validation of the SOAPP was conducted by identifying those patients exhibiting aberrant drug-related behavior as determined by any of the following: a positive score on the Prescription Drug Use Questionnaire (PDUQ) interview, positive urine toxicology screen, and/or ratings by staff as to whether patients had a serious drug problem. Of the original 24 items, 14 SOAPP items appeared to predict subsequent aberrant behaviors. Coefficient alpha for these 14 items was acceptable for a short scale (0.74). Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis yielded an area under the curve of 0.881 (P<0.001), suggesting adequate sensitivity and specificity for a screening device. These reliability and predictive validity results suggest that the SOAPP is a promising step toward screening risk potential for substance misuse among persons with chronic pain.Pain 12/2004; 112(1-2):65-75. DOI:10.1016/j.pain.2004.07.026 · 5.84 Impact Factor