Edgar L Ross

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Are you Edgar L Ross?

Claim your profile

Publications (26)49.35 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There has been a need for a brief assessment tool to determine compliance with use of prescribed opioids for pain. The purpose of this study was to develop and begin the validation of a brief and simple compliance checklist (Opioid Compliance Checklist; OCC) for chronic pain patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy. A review of the literature of opioid therapy agreements led to a 12-item OCC that was repeatedly administered to 157 patients who were taking opioids for chronic pain and followed for six months. Validation of the OCC was conducted by identifying those patients exhibiting aberrant drug-related behavior as determined by any of the following: positive urine toxicology screen, a positive score on the Prescription Drug Use Questionnaire (PDUQ) interview or Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM), and/or ratings by staff on the Addiction Behavior Checklist (ABC). Of the original 12 items, 5 OCC items appeared to best predict subsequent aberrant behaviors based on multivariate logistic regression analyses (cross-validated AUC=.67). Although further testing is needed, these results suggest that the OCC is an easy-to-use, promising measure in monitoring opioid adherence among persons with chronic pain.
    The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society. 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intractable chronic headaches are a major challenge for both patients and healthcare professionals. Over the last two decades, implantable electrical neuromodulators, previously established to manage other forms of chronic pain, have been used increasingly for intractable primary and secondary headache disorders. We review the current approaches to the management of refractory headaches using neuromodulation. Indications, operative considerations and complications are discussed based on our experience and a review of the literature. The field of neuromodulation has been rapidly advancing, with many new targets being discovered and novel devices being developed for treating craniofacial pain. We discuss some of these targets, detailing the latest advances in the area of neuromodulation for intractable headaches.
    Current Pain and Headache Reports 02/2014; 18(2):392. · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    The Journal of Pain. 01/2014; 15(4):S10.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There has been a need for a brief assessment tool to determine compliance with use of prescribed opioids for pain. The purpose of this study was to develop and begin the validation of a brief and simple compliance checklist (Opioid Compliance Checklist; OCC) for chronic pain patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy. A review of the literature of opioid therapy agreements led to a 12-item OCC that was repeatedly administered to 157 patients who were taking opioids for chronic pain and followed for six months. Validation of the OCC was conducted by identifying those patients exhibiting aberrant drug-related behavior as determined by any of the following: positive urine toxicology screen, a positive score on the Prescription Drug Use Questionnaire (PDUQ) interview or Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM), and/or ratings by staff on the Addiction Behavior Checklist (ABC). Of the original 12 items, 5 OCC items appeared to best predict subsequent aberrant behaviors based on multivariate logistic regression analyses (cross-validated AUC=.67). Although further testing is needed, these results suggest that the OCC is an easy-to-use, promising measure in monitoring opioid adherence among persons with chronic pain. Perspective This study presents validation of a brief 5-item compliance checklist for use with chronic pain patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy. This measure asks patients about aberrant drug-related behavior over the past month, and any positive response indicates problems with adherence with opioids. Further cross-validation testing is needed.
    The Journal of Pain. 01/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain patients can be difficult to manage due to complicated medical and psychiatric comorbidities. This study focused on strategies designed to improve patient treatment satisfaction within a tertiary urban hospital‐based pain management center. Information was obtained of monthly patient satisfaction and Press Ganey scores in 2009 based on patient perceptions of staff and telephone access, frequency of returned phone calls, staff empathy and responsiveness, and overall patient experience with their pain treatment. Information was also obtained of the number of formal complaints made to the Patient Relations Department of the hospital. A customer service program designed to target patient's phone access, response to phone calls, improved patient experiences, and service friendliness was initiated in March 2010. Six hundred eleven patients (n = 611) were randomly surveyed 3 months after their treatment between 2009 and 2012 and rates of formal patient complaints were monitored. Thirty‐three (n = 33) staff members were encouraged to attend monthly 1.5‐hour customer service meetings and participate in specialized work teams between March 2010 and December 2012. Patient satisfaction scores rose from a low of 80.3 (average of 83.5%) in 2009 to a high of 91.2 (average 88.9%) in 2012. Annual formal complaints to Patient Relations decreased by 40.5% over 4 years (112 in 2009 to 30 in 2012). Phone abandonment rates also decreased by 20% and the center scored 12% higher than average total practice scores in patient satisfaction based on secret shopper ratings. This study demonstrates that customer service initiatives that engage staff participation and that are designed to target specific improvements in patient satisfaction can effectively change the way pain patients perceive treatment at an interdisciplinary anesthesia‐based pain center.
    Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research 04/2013; 18(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives:  Patients with chronic noncancer pain frequently report symptoms of depression and anxiety (negative affect), which are associated with higher ratings of pain intensity and a greater likelihood of being prescribed chronic opioid therapy. The purpose of this secondary analysis was to test the hypothesis that initial levels of negative affect can predict treatment-related outcomes in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of extended-release (ER) hydromorphone among opioid-tolerant patients with chronic low back pain. Methods:  Four hundred fifty-nine (N = 459) patients participated in the titration/conversion phase of a multicenter study, of which 268 were randomized to receive once-daily hydromorphone or placebo. All patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at baseline and were divided evenly into Low (N = 157), Moderate (N = 155), and High (N = 147) negative affect groups based on their scores. Group differences in numerical pain intensity measures at home and in the clinic, Roland-Morris Disability ratings, and measures of symptoms from the Subjective Opiate Withdrawal Scale (SOWS) throughout the trial were analyzed. Results:  Two hundred sixty-eight of the initial 459 subjects who entered the 2 to 4-week titration/conversion phase (pretreatment) were successfully randomized to either placebo or ER hydromorphone; a total of 110 patients then completed this double-bflind phase of the study. Those in the Moderate and High negative affect groups tended to drop out more often during the titration/conversion phase because of the adverse effects or lack of efficacy of their prescribed opioid than those in the Low negative mood group (P < 0.05). Overall, those patients in the Moderate and High groups reported significantly higher pain intensity scores in at-home and in-clinic pain intensity ratings (P < 0.05), greater disability on the Roland-Morris Scale (P < 0.01), and more withdrawal symptoms on the SOWS (P < 0.05) than those in the Low group. Higher negative affect scores also predicted less favorable ratings of the study drug during the titration phase (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the High negative affect group showed the most improvement in pain in the placebo condition (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Negative affect is associated with diminished benefit during a trial of opioid therapy and is predictive of dropout in a controlled clinical trial.
    Pain Practice 06/2012; · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives:  The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for refractory angina. Materials and Methods:  This multicenter, randomized, single-blind, controlled trial evaluated SCS in two patient groups: high stimulation (HS) (treatment) and low stimulation (LS) (control). The HS group controlled SCS with a programmer for a minimum of two hours four times daily. The LS group received SCS therapy above the paresthesia threshold for one min once daily. The primary efficacy endpoint was number of angina attacks recorded by patients at six months. The primary safety endpoint was the major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate at six months. Results:  Due to slow enrollment, a futility analysis was performed, resulting in early termination of the study. Sixty-eight patients were randomized after implantation. Mean change in angina attacks per day from baseline to six months was -1.19 ± 2.13 (HS) and -1.29 ± 1.66 (LS). The difference from baseline was significant within each group (both p < 0.001) but not between groups (p = 0.45). Total exercise time and time to angina onset increased significantly from baseline to six months within each group (both p = 0.02 and 0.002) but not between groups (p = 0.52 and 0.51). MACE was similar between groups. Conclusion:  Although this study was terminated early, the results obtained at six months suggest that SCS (HS) is not more effective than the control (LS) in patients with refractory angina.
    Neuromodulation 04/2012; · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Little is known about whether patients with chronic pain treated with opioids experience craving for their medications, whether contextual cues may influence craving, or if there is a relationship between craving and medication compliance. We hypothesized that craving for prescription opioids would be significantly correlated with the urge for more medication, preoccupation with the next dose, and current mood symptoms. We studied craving in 62 patients with chronic pain who were at low or high risk for opioid misuse, while they were enrolled in an RCT to improve prescription opioid medication compliance. Using electronic diaries, patients completed ratings of craving at monthly clinic visits and daily during a 14-day take-home period. Both groups consistently endorsed craving, whose levels were highly correlated (P < .001) with urge, preoccupation, and mood. The intervention to improve opioid compliance in the high-risk group was significantly associated with a rate of decrease in craving over time in comparison to a high-risk control group (P < .05). These findings indicate that craving is a potentially important psychological construct in pain patients prescribed opioids, regardless of their level of risk to misuse opioids. Targeting craving may be an important intervention to decrease misuse and improve prescription opioid compliance. PERSPECTIVE: Patients with noncancer pain can crave their prescription opioids, regardless of their risk for opioid misuse. We found craving to be highly correlated with the urge to take more medication, fluctuations in mood, and preoccupation with the next dose, and to diminish with a behavioral intervention to improve opioid compliance.
    The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 02/2012; 13(2):146-54. · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Edgar Ross, David Abejón
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives:  The objective of this narrative review is to discuss the clinical implications of position-related changes in spinal cord stimulation and technological improvements to better meet patient needs. Methods:  Keywords applicable to spinal cord stimulation therapy, including paresthesia perception, spinal cord position, lead impedance, and sensor technologies, were searched in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases. Literature analysis, combined with extensive clinical experience with spinal cord stimulation therapy, forms the basis of this review. Results:  Fluctuations in paresthesia perception are largely caused by variation in the distance between the fixed electrodes and the spinal cord consequent to patient movement. Patients employ multiple strategies with varying success to manage position-related fluctuations in stimulation perception, which may result in suboptimum therapy delivery. Conclusions:  A new type of spinal cord stimulation system that incorporates accelerometer technology to automatically adjust stimulation amplitude based on patient position may better meet patient analgesic needs and is in early clinical application.
    Neuromodulation 12/2011; · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Pain 03/2011; 152(8):1705-8. · 5.64 Impact Factor
  • The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 02/2011; 12(4):508. · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain - J PAIN. 01/2011; 12(4).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain patients who show aberrant drug-related behavior often are discontinued from treatment when they are noncompliant with their use of opioids for pain. The purpose of this study was to conduct a randomized trial in patients who were prescribed opioids for noncancer back pain and who showed risk potential for or demonstration of opioid misuse to see if close monitoring and cognitive behavioral substance misuse counseling could increase overall compliance with opioids. Forty-two patients meeting criteria for high-risk for opioid misuse were randomized to either standard control (High-Risk Control; N=21) or experimental compliance treatment consisting of monthly urine screens, compliance checklists, and individual and group motivational counseling (High-Risk Experimental; N=21). Twenty patients who met criteria indicating low potential for misuse were recruited to a low-risk control group (Low-Risk Control). Patients were followed for 6 months and completed pre- and post-study questionnaires and monthly electronic diaries. Outcomes consisted of the percent with a positive Drug Misuse Index (DMI), which was a composite score of self-reported drug misuse (Prescription Drug Use Questionnaire), physician-reported abuse behavior (Addiction Behavior Checklist), and abnormal urine toxicology results. Significant differences were found between groups with 73.7% of the High-Risk Control patients demonstrating positive scores on the DMI compared with 26.3% from the High-Risk Experimental group and 25.0% from the Low-Risk Controls (p<0.05). The results of this study demonstrate support for the benefits of a brief behavioral intervention in the management of opioid compliance among chronic back pain patient at high-risk for prescription opioid misuse.
    Pain 03/2010; 150(3):390-400. · 5.64 Impact Factor
  • Edgar Ross
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain from arthritis continues to be one of the biggest causes of disability and loss of function in the United States today. This is still the case despite many new insights into the pathophysiology of pain, effective treatment approaches, and new, safer medications that can be used long-term. There are many different types of arthritic problems. New disease-modifying agents that are available for some of these types of arthritic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, have the potential to have a substantial impact on improvement in the long-term prognosis. Despite this optimistic outlook, pain often is a significant problem and should be treated whenever it becomes a barrier to function. To complicate treatment for this condition, the most widely used group of medications is under new scrutiny because of concerns regarding long-term detrimental side effects. A complete understanding of the risk factors for NSAIDs, specifically cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, is still not available. But published data and new clinical guidelines still suggest that treatment for this large category of diseases can be effective and safe.
    Current Pain and Headache Reports 12/2009; 13(6):455-9. · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain - J PAIN. 01/2009; 10(4).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective.  This descriptive study compares outcome measures of a computerized assessment of pain, emotional distress, and quality of life between chronic noncancer pain patients who have received an implantable device (spinal cord stimulator or intrathecal pump; N = 143) and those who have not received a device (N = 130). Methods.  Each patient marked the location of their pain on a body diagram and rated pain intensity, emotional distress, and impact of their pain on mood, sleep, and quality of life using a computerized pain assessment program. An electronic version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) also was administered. Results.  No significant differences were found on the pain variables between the two groups. Patients with an implantable device gave lower ratings (less impact) on emotional distress (p < 0.05) and rated their health quality of life as better compared with control patients (p < 0.05). The patients with implantable devices also scored lower on the HADS Depression Subscale. Conclusion.  The results suggest that although patients with an implantable device seem to have more pathology and greater disability, they report less emotional distress and improved quality of life compared with patients with chronic pain without an implantable device. Future controlled trials are needed to establish the role that an implantable device plays in improving mood and quality of life.
    Neuromodulation 10/2008; 11(4):260-6. · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuropathic facial pain often is a very difficult problem to treat. We describe three cases of intractable neuropathic facial pain which were successfully treated with peripheral stimulation. These three cases review trialing, operative considerations, including cosmetic considerations, and provide some insight into the pathophysiology of these pain syndromes.
    Neuromodulation 10/2008; 11(4):272-6. · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We assessed the efficacy of dronabinol (Marinol capsules; Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Brussels, Belgium), a synthetic Delta(9)-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in 30 patients taking opioids for chronic pain to determine its potential analgesic effects as an adjuvant treatment. Phase I of this 2-phase study was a randomized, single-dose, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in which subjects were randomly administered either 10 mg or 20 mg of dronabinol or identical placebo capsules over the course of three, 8-hour visits. Baseline self-report measures, hourly ratings of pain intensity, pain relief, pain bothersomeness, treatment satisfaction, mood, side effects, and blood serum levels were obtained. Phase II was an extended open-label titrated trial of dronabinol as add-on medication to patients on stable doses of opioids. Results of the Phase I study showed that patients who received dronabinol experienced decreased pain intensity and increased satisfaction compared with placebo. No differences in benefit were found between the 20 mg and 10 mg doses. In the Phase II trial, titrated dronabinol contributed to significant relief of pain, reduced pain bothersomeness, and increased satisfaction compared with baseline. The incidence of side effects was dose-related. Overall, the use of dronabinol was found to result in additional analgesia among patients taking opioids for chronic noncancer pain. PERSPECTIVE: This study examines the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of opioids. The results of our preliminary study suggest that dronabinol, a synthetic THC, may have an additive effect on pain relief.
    Journal of Pain 04/2008; 9(3):254-64. · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Pain 12/2007; 132(1-2):218-9; author reply 219. · 5.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine the incidence of abnormal urine toxicology screening among chronic pain patients prescribed opioids for their pain and to relate these results to patient descriptors and type, number, and dose of prescribed opioids. A retrospective analysis of data from 470 patients who had urine screening at a pain management program in an urban teaching hospital was performed. Urine samples were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Patients were categorized as having urine screens that were "normal" (expected findings based on their prescribed drugs) or abnormal. Abnormal findings were those of (1) absence of a prescribed opioid, (2) presence of an additional nonprescribed controlled substance, (3) detection of an illicit substance, and (4) an adulterated urine sample. Forty-five percent of the patients were found to have abnormal urine screens. Twenty percent were categorized as having an illicit substance in their urine. Illicit substances and additional drugs were found more frequently in younger patients than in older patients (P<0.001). No other variables were found to predict abnormal urine screen results. These results confirm past findings that random urine toxicology screens among patients prescribed opioids for pain reveal a high incidence of abnormal findings. Common patient descriptors, and number, type, and dose of prescribed opioids were found to be poor predictors of abnormal results.
    Clinical Journal of Pain 03/2007; 23(2):173-9. · 2.55 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

349 Citations
49.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1999–2014
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Pain Management Center
      • • Center for Brain Mind Medicine
      • • Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011
    • Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda
      Madrid, Spain
  • 2009
    • Partners HealthCare
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States