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Opioid-use disorder among patients on long-term opioid therapy: impact of final DSM-5 diagnostic criteria on prevalence and correlates

Authors Boscarino J, Hoffman S, Han J

Received 29 March 2015

Accepted for publication 25 May 2015

Published 19 August 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 83—91


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Li-Tzy Wu

Joseph A Boscarino,1 Stuart N Hoffman,1 John J Han2

1Center for Health Research, 2Department of Pain Medicine, Geisinger Clinic, Danville, PA, USA

Aims: Previously, we estimated the prevalence and risk factors for prescription opioid-use disorder among outpatients on opioid therapy using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 and DSM-4 criteria. However, at the time, the DSM-5 criteria were not finalized. In the current study, we analyzed these data using the final DSM-5 criteria and compared these results.
Methods: Using electronic records from a large US health care system, we identified outpatients receiving five or more prescription orders for opioid therapy in the past 12 months for noncancer pain (mean prescription orders =10.72; standard deviation =4.96). In 2008, we completed diagnostic interviews with 705 of these patients using the DSM-4 criteria. In the current study, we reassessed these results using the final DSM-5 criteria.
Results: The lifetime prevalence of DSM-5 opioid-use disorders using the final DSM-5 criteria was 58.7% for no or few symptoms (<2), 28.1% for mild symptoms (2–3), 9.7% for moderate symptoms (4–5), and 3.5% for severe symptoms (six or more). Thus, the lifetime prevalence of “any” prescription opioid-use disorder in this cohort was 41.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] =37.6–45.0). A comparison to the DSM-4 criteria indicated that the majority of patients with lifetime DSM-4 opioid dependence were now classified as having mild opioid-use disorder, based on the DSM-5 criteria (53.6%; 95% CI =44.1–62.8). In ordinal logistic regression predicting no/few, mild, moderate, and severe opioid-use disorder, the best predictors were age <65 years, current pain impairment, trouble sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety disorders, illicit drug use, and history of substance abuse treatment.
Conclusion: Given the final DSM-5 criteria, including the elimination of tolerance and withdrawal, inclusion of craving and abuse symptoms, and introduction of a new graded severity classification, the prevalence of opioid-use disorders has changed, while many of the DSM-4 risk factors for opioid dependence were similar. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to compare the final results for DSM-5 versus DSM-4 prescription opioid-use disorders among a high-risk patient population.

Keywords: opioids, drug-use disorders, DSM-5, prescription drugs, pain, outpatients

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