A research team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, reports success in developing a short compliance checklist that can be used by clinicians to identify individuals most likely to misuse prescription pain medications. Lead author on the study, which appears in Journal of Pain, was PAINWeek faculty member Robert Jamison, PhD, professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
At present, there are no widely accepted assessments for monitoring ongoing opioid therapy adherence, and few studies have attempted to link self-report variables with objective evidence of prescription drug misuse. The Brigham and Women’s team developed a 12-item Opioid Compliance Checklist that was repeatedly administered over 6 months to 157 patients taking opioids for chronic pain. Results showed that 5 items best predicted subsequent aberrant drug behaviors: lost or misplaced medications; running out of pain medication early; missed scheduled doctor appointments; use of any illegal or unauthorized substances; not being completely honest about personal drug use.
Read a news story about the study findings here.