| chronic pain

Understanding Barriers to Long-Term Opioid Therapy

The Experiences of Stakeholders on Both Sides

The Journal of Pain Research published an article in which researchers conducted phone interviews with chronic pain patients, clinicians, and clinic staff. In an effort to understand barriers to long-term opioid therapy, the researchers questioned 15 patients, 7 primary care clinicians, and 3 office staff for about 30 minutes. Barrier themes were identified as

  • Reduced clinic willingness to manage prescribed opioids for new patients
  • Lack of time and reimbursement for quality opioid-related care
  • Paucity of multimodal care and coordination between providers
  • Fear of liability and use of new guidelines to justify not prescribing opioids
  • Delayed prescription receipt due to prior authorization and pharmacy issues
  • Poor availability of effective non-opioid treatments

The study concluded, “Issues of policy, logistics, and clinic-level resources converge to disrupt treatment access for patients with chronic pain, as many clinics both do not offer multimodal pain care and are unwilling to prescribe LTOT. The resulting conceptual model can inform the development of policy interventions to help mitigate these access barriers.”

Read the journal article.