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Provider confidence in opioid prescribing and chronic pain management: results of the Opioid Therapy Provider Survey

Authors Pearson AC, Moman RN, Moeschler SM, Eldrige JS, Hooten WM

Received 8 March 2017

Accepted for publication 27 April 2017

Published 7 June 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1395—1400

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S136478

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon

Video abstract presented by Amy CS Pearson and Rajat N Moman

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Amy CS Pearson,1 Rajat N Moman,2 Susan M Moeschler,3 Jason S Eldrige,3 W Michael Hooten3

1Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic, 2Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, 3Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Mayo College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA

Introduction: Many providers report lack of confidence in managing patients with chronic pain. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to investigate the associations of provider confidence in managing chronic pain with their practice behaviors and demographics.
Materials and methods: The primary outcome measure was the results of the Opioid Therapy Provider Survey, which was administered to clinicians attending a pain-focused continuing medical education conference. Nonparametric correlations were assessed using Spearman’s rho.
Results: Of the respondents, 55.0% were women, 92.8% were white, and 56.5% were physicians. Primary care providers accounted for 56.5% of the total respondents. The majority of respondents (60.8%) did not feel confident managing patients with chronic pain. Provider confidence in managing chronic pain was positively correlated with 1) following an opioid therapy protocol (P=0.001), 2) the perceived ability to identify patients at risk for opioid misuse (P=0.006), and 3) using a consistent practice-based approach to improve their comfort level with prescribing opioids (P<0.001). Provider confidence was negatively correlated with the perception that treating pain patients was a “problem in my practice” (P=0.005).
Conclusion: In this study, the majority of providers did not feel confident managing chronic pain. However, provider confidence was associated with a protocolized and consistent practice-based approach toward managing opioids and the perceived ability to identify patients at risk for opioid misuse. Future studies should investigate whether provider confidence is associated with measurable competence in managing chronic pain and explore approaches to enhance appropriate levels of confidence in caring for patients with chronic pain.

Keywords: chronic pain, opioids, confidence, continuing medical education

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