HealthDay News — According to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, discussing the risk of long-term opioid use disorder with patients is associated with reduced misuse of opioids.
Joachim Hero, MPH, from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues used 2 population-representative surveys to assess the effects of a recent recommendation that physicians discuss the risk of long-term use disorder with patients when prescribing opioid analgesics.
The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, there was a 60% lower rate in self-reported saving of pills among respondents who reported talking to their physicians about the risks of prescription painkiller addiction — 67% without adjustment.
“These findings suggest patient education efforts, as currently practiced in the United States, may have positive behavioral consequences that could lower the risks of prescription painkiller abuse,” the authors write. “Future research should test these associations under controlled settings.”
Hero JO, et al. “Discussing Opioid Risks With Patients To Reduce Misuse And Abuse: Evidence From 2 Surveys”. The Annals of Family Medicine. 2016. 14(6): 575-577.