Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: The frequent prescription of opioids for pain management has provoked an “opioid epidemic” as declared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011. According to the National Prescription Audit (2012) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2014), the use and abuse of opioids in the United States is significant. Nevertheless, Puerto Rico’s opioid prescription data have not been considered. Therefore, this study was intended to raise data regarding opioid analgesics prescribing and potential abuse in an ambulatory 330 center.
Methods: This descriptive study was performed at an ambulatory 330 center and intended to evaluate opioid prescribing trends during a three-year study period (2015-2017). Data was collected by means of a Medication Utilization Evaluation (MUE) and a retrospective analysis of descriptive statistics was conducted. The variables were selected according to the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (2016) in order to identify the prescribing trends compliance with guidelines. To control the precision of the estimates, a sample size for prescriptions to be studied was calculated. A sample of 1,067 prescriptions was considered and proportionally distributed for each year of the period under study. Data from 1,067 opioid prescriptions was extracted through electronic medical records review.
Results: Prescription trends revealed a predominance in the age group of 50-64 (43%), female gender (56%), and non-malignant pain indication (51%). Other variables such as: chronic use, dosage form, concurrent benzodiazepine use, and prescription duration were also studied to determine compliance with the CDC guidelines. The total amount of prescriptions that were noncompliant with the CDC guidelines accounted for 775 out of 1,067 (72.53%). The variable with the greatest impact on these results was prescription duration. Only 31 (2.91%) of the prescriptions did not comply with the guidelines as determined by the analysis, if therapy duration was not considered.
Conclusion: The study did not demonstrate a significant influence of the CDC guidelines recommendations (2016) in the prescribing trends, but confirmed that these have not deviated from the guidelines. This conclusion is based on data collection which included prescriptions from 2015, one year before the CDC recommendations became available to healthcare workers (2016). Data were compared before and after the CDC guidelines recommendations. Study results contributed to develop set of recommendations to help improve prescribing trends at the institution, particularly opioids’ duration of therapy in compliance to CDC guidelines.