Perceived patient benefits from using prescription opioids and other therapies to manage persistent pain.

J Opioid Manag. 2019 Jan/Feb;16(1):5-14

Authors: Mitra F, Woolley T

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: There is current controversy surrounding the long-term prescription of opioids to persistent pain (PP) pa-tients due to potential dangers of addiction and overdose. This study is the first to explore the perspectives of PP pa-tients attending a multidisciplinary pain clinic on the benefits associated with using opioids and other self-medication strategies for pain relief.
DESIGN, PATIENTS, AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study utilizing a self-administered survey of patients attending an Austra-lian General Practice pain clinic for treatment of PP for at least 1 year (n = 93; response rate = 89 percent).
RESULTS: Of the 93 participants, 79 percent reported being on opioid medication, with 49 percent on such medication for over 1 year. One or more side-effects were experienced by 53 percent of PP patients using opioids (although all felt these side-effects were at least « somewhat » acceptable). In addition, 64 percent of PP on opioid medication felt the benefits were « sub-stantially » worth the risk of harm, and 50 percent reported their medication had led to « substantial » improvements in their qual-ity of life. Many PP patients also used nonprescription medications and other complementary therapies for pain relief; how-ever, only the illicit drug cannabis was consistently stated (by 79 percent of users) to have benefits regarding relaxation and sleeping.
CONCLUSION: Overall, PP patients felt the benefits of opioid use outweighed the risks, and using opioid medication sig-nificantly improved their quality of life. This may be partly due to the poor efficacy of other nonprescription medications and complementary therapies in managing PP beyond short-term relief.

PMID: 32091612 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


Source: ncbi 2

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