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Effectiveness of long-term opioid therapy among chronic non-cancer pain patients attending multidisciplinary pain treatment clinics: A Quebec Pain Registry study

Canadian Journal of Pain, 01 January 2018, Vol.2(1), pp.113-124 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Effectiveness of long-term opioid therapy among chronic non-cancer pain patients attending multidisciplinary pain treatment clinics: A Quebec Pain Registry study
  • Author: Saïdi, Hichem ; Pagé, M. Gabrielle ; Boulanger, Aline ; Ware, Mark A ; Choinière, Manon
  • Found In: Canadian Journal of Pain, 01 January 2018, Vol.2(1), pp.113-124 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Opioids ; Chronic Pain ; Quebec Pain Registry ; Multidisciplinary Pain Treatment Facility ; Treatment Effectiveness ; Medicine
  • Language: English
  • Description: Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate in a real-life context the effectiveness of long-term opioid therapy for reducing pain intensity and interference and improving health-related quality of life (QOL) in patients with chronic noncancer pain. Methods: Participants were 893 patients (age = 52.4 ± 14.1, female = 62.4%) enrolled in the Quebec Pain Registry (2008-2011) who completed questionnaires before their first visit at one of three multidisciplinary pain management clinics and 6 and 12 months thereafter. Based on their opioid use profile (OUP), patients were categorized as nonusers, non-lasting users, or lasting users. Data were analyzed using generalized estimating equations. Results: More than 60% of patients newly initiated on opioid therapy stopped their medication mainly because of adverse effects and/or lack of pain relief. OUP significantly predicted pain intensity and interference and physical QOL (pQOL; P values < 0.001). Lasting users of opioids reported higher levels of pain intensity and interference and poorer pQOL than nonusers and/or non-lasting users over the 12-month follow-up (P values < 0.001). However, all effect sizes were small, thus questioning the clinical significance of these group differences. Among lasting users, more than 20% of patients experienced a meaningful amelioration in pain intensity and interference as well as mental QOL (mQOL), whereas only 8% exhibited improved pQOL. Discussion: A significant subgroup of patients may benefit from long-term opioid therapy in terms of pain severity and mQOL but the majority do not. The challenge facing clinicians is how to identify who the responders will be.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 2474-0527 ; DOI: 10.1080/24740527.2018.1451252

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