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The Persistence of Opioid Use Following Surgical Admission: An Australian Single-Site Retrospective Cohort Study


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Veal, F ORCID: 0000-0001-9018-1965, Thompson, A ORCID: 0000-0001-8677-0249, Halliday, S, Boyles, P, Orlikowski, C and Bereznicki, L ORCID: 0000-0003-3974-3437 2020 , 'The Persistence of Opioid Use Following Surgical Admission: An Australian Single-Site Retrospective Cohort Study' , Journal of Pain Research, vol. 13 , pp. 703-708 , doi: 10.2147/JPR.S235764.

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Background: Acute pain is common following surgery, with opioids frequently employed in its management. Studies indicate that commencing an opioid during a hospital admission increases the likelihood of long-term use. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of opioid persistence amongst opioid-naïve patients following surgery as well as the indication for use.Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent a surgical procedure at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania, Australia, between August and September 2016 was undertaken. Patients were linked to the Tasmanian real-time prescription monitoring database to ascertain if they were subsequently dispensed a Schedule 8 opioid (morphine, codeine oxycodone, buprenorphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, methadone, or tapentadol) and the indication for use.Results: Of the 3275 hospital admissions, 1015 opioid-naïve patients were eligible for inclusion. Schedule 8 opioids were dispensed at or within 2 days of discharge in 41.7% of admissions. Thirty-nine (3.9%) patients received prescribed opioids 2-months post-discharge; 1.8% of the patients were approved by State Health to be prescribed Schedule 8 opioids regularly for a chronic condition at 6 months, and 1.3% received infrequent or one-off prescriptions for Schedule 8 opioids at 6 months. Thirteen (1.3%) patients continued Schedule 8 opioids for at least 6 months following their surgery, with the indication for treatment either related to the surgery or the condition which surgery was sought for.Conclusion: This study found that there was a low rate of Schedule 8 opioid persistence following surgery, indicating post-surgical pain is not a significant driver for persistent opioid use.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Veal, F and Thompson, A and Halliday, S and Boyles, P and Orlikowski, C and Bereznicki, L
Keywords: opioids, post-operative, persistence, prescribing
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pain Research
Publisher: Dove Medical Press Ltd.
ISSN: 1178-7090
DOI / ID Number: 10.2147/JPR.S235764
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Veal et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

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