Beliefs and attitudes about opioid prescribing and chronic pain management: survey of primary care providers

  • Jamison R
  • Sheehan K
  • Scanlan E
 et al. 
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: There is growing concern of medication misuse and
noncompliance among patients with chronic pain prescribed
opioids for pain. The aim of this survey was to obtain
information from primary care providers (PCPs) about their
perception of prescribing opioids for patients with chronic
pain. METHODS: PCPs were invited to complete a packet of
questionnaires about attitudes and concerns about opioids for
chronic pain. These questionnaires included 1) General Health
Questionnaire, 2) Test of Opioid Knowledge (TOK), 3) Opioid
Therapy Provider Survey, and 4) Concerns About Analgesic
Prescription Questionnaire. RESULTS: Fifty-six (N = 56) PCPs
from eight centers participated in this study. In general, the
PCPs showed adequate opioid knowledge on the KOT and their
general health was unrelated to prescription attitudes. Most
expressed concern about medication misuse (89 percent) and
felt that managing patients with chronic pain was stressful
(84 percent). Most were worried about addiction (82 percent)
and less than half felt that they were sufficiently trained in
prescribing opioids (46 percent). Younger providers felt more
reluctant to prescribe opioids, experienced more stress in
managing patients with pain, had less overall confidence in
managing patients with pain, and worried more about opioid
dependence than older providers (p < 0.05). Younger providers
were also less knowledgeable about opioids, but opioid
knowledge was not found to be related to concerns about
analgesic prescriptions. CONCLUSION: This study indicates a
general concern and reluctance of primary care physicians to
manage the prescribing of opioids among their patients with
chronic pain and younger providers expressed more concern
about opioids than older providers.

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Authors

  • Robert N Jamison

  • Kerry Anne Sheehan

  • Elizabeth Scanlan

  • Michele Matthews

  • Edgar L Ross

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