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Opioid Reduction and Risk Mitigation in VA Primary Care: Outcomes from the Integrated Pain Team Initiative

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Opioid Reduction and Risk Mitigation in VA Primary Care: Outcomes from the Integrated Pain Team Initiative

10$

Karen H. Seal MD, MPH, Tessa Rife PharmD, BCGP, Yongmei Li PhD, Carolyn Gibson PhD & Jennifer Tighe MSPH 

Abstract

Background

National guidelines advise decreasing opioids for chronic pain, but there is no guidance on implementation.

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness of an Integrated Pain Team (IPT) clinic in decreasing opioid dose and mitigating opioid risk.

Design

This study prospectively compared two matched cohorts receiving chronic pain care through IPT (N = 147) versus usual primary care (UPC, N = 147) over 6 months. Patients were matched on age, sex, psychiatric diagnoses, and baseline opioid dose.

Patients

Veterans receiving care at a VA medical center or VA community-based clinics.

Intervention

Interdisciplinary IPT, consisting of a collocated medical provider, psychologist, and pharmacist embedded in VA primary care providing short-term biopsychosocial management of veterans with chronic pain and problematic opioid use.

Main Measures

Change in opioid dose expressed as morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) and opioid risk mitigation evaluated at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.

Key Results

Compared with veterans receiving UPC, those followed by IPT had a greater mean MEDD decrease of 42 mg versus 8 mg after 3 months and 56 mg versus 17 mg after 6 months. In adjusted analysis, compared with UPC, veterans in IPT achieved a 34-mg greater mean reduction at 3 months (p = 0.002) and 38-mg greater mean reduction at 6 months (p = 0.003). Nearly twice as many patients receiving care through IPT versus UPC reduced their daily opioid dose by ≥50%, representing more than a two-fold improvement at 3 months, which was sustained at 6 months [odds ratio = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.04–3.95, p = 0.04]. Significant improvements were also demonstrated in opioid risk mitigation by 6 months, including increased urine drug screen monitoring, naloxone kit distribution, and decreased co-prescription of opioids and benzodiazepines (all p values < 0.001).

Conclusions

Interdisciplinary biopsychosocial models of pain care can be embedded in primary care and lead to significant improvements in opioid dose and risk mitigation.

Only units of this product remain
Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s11606-019-05572-9