As the country faces an unprecedented opioid epidemic, there’s an active national conversation about how inappropriate prescribing contributes to chronic opioid use, misuse, and addiction. Evidence is rapidly evolving to inform the policy debate, especially regarding best practices for prescribing in acutely painful conditions, like an injury or surgery, but the evidence is less clear on the best policy solutions.
National Variation in Opioid Prescribing and Risk of Prolonged Use for Opioid-Naive Patients Treated in the Emergency Department for Ankle Sprains
Between 2011 and 2015, nearly one in four patients with ankle sprains were prescribed opioids in the emergency department. The overall prescribing rate declined during the study period, but varied significantly by state, ranging from 2.8% in North Dakota to 40% in Arkansas. Patients prescribed the largest amounts of opioid were nearly five times more likely to transition to continued use as those prescribed lesser amounts.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf declared the opioid epidemic a disaster emergency.
Geographic Variation in Postpartum Prescription Opioid Use: Opportunities to Improve Maternal Safety
Abstract [from journal]
Background: Obstetric delivery is among the most common in-hospital procedures experienced by reproductive-age women, yet there is little literature on patterns of postpartum opioid prescriptions after such episodes.
Methods: We used claims data from 871,195 vaginal deliveries to 768,455 privately-insured women with an in-hospital delivery between June 2001 and July 2013 to examine the state- and census division-level proportions of women who...
Last month, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced a new policy on opioid prescription. This is the latest in a series of statements issued by the ADA in response to the prominent role of dentistry in the opioid epidemic.
Abstract [from journal]
Background: The rise in opioid use and overdose has increased the importance of improving data collection methods for the purpose of targeting resources to high-need populations and responding rapidly to emerging trends.
Objective: To determine whether Twitter data could be used to identify geographic differences in opioid-related discussion and whether opioid topics were significantly correlated with opioid overdose death rate.
Methods: We filtered approximately 10 billion tweets for keywords...
Researchers are discovering that social media offers a window into the lived experience of patients and their caregivers. Using Yelp reviews about US hospitals, our team at Penn’s Center for Health Care Innovation attempted to give voice to these experiences related to pain management and opioids during recent hospital visits.