“Emergency department patients have misperceptions about opioid dependence and want more information about their pain management options, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that patients seen in the emergency department for acute pain expressed a desire for better communication from physicians about their pain management options, along with discussion of the risks of opioid dependence.
The study used semi-structured open-ended telephone interviews with 23 patients (mostly women, ages 18 to 65) discharged from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after being seen in the emergency department during a four-month period in 2014, for pain related to broken bones in the arms or legs, kidney stones or musculoskeletal back injury. Although the patients discussed a variety of topics related to their experiences with communication around pain, the main themes of the interviews included opioid dependence and addiction, and patient-provider communication about pain management.
The themes patients revealed around opioid dependence included:
- Fear of developing dependence or addition,
- Worries about following prescribed dosing preventing the possibility of addiction,
- Relying on media and other individuals as a source of information about opioids, and
- Awareness of physicians’ need to balance patients’ pain management needs and safe opioid prescribing guidelines.
Source: MedicalExpress.com – April 13, 2015