Substance Use

The use or misuse of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (marijuana), stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids.

Improving Opioid Stewardship for Acute Pain

Aug. 9, 2018

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

Research Brief
Aug. 8, 2018

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.

 

SUMR 2018 Attends AHRQ National Research Service Awards Conference

Jul. 2, 2018
The 24nd annual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Conference took place in tandem with the 2018 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and the adjacent Washington State Convention Center. NRSA is part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) program that provides training, grants and other supports to undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows in the health services research field. This year's event was attended by 23 Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) scholars from the University of Pennsylvania program co-...

Geographic Variation in Postpartum Prescription Opioid Use: Opportunities to Improve Maternal Safety

Jun. 6, 2018

Nora V. Becker, Karen J.Gibbins, Jeanmarie Perrone, Brandon C. Maughan

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

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Dentists Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Apr. 25, 2018

 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.

Opioid Discussion in the Twittersphere

Apr. 25, 2018

Rachel L. Graves, Christopher Tufts, Zachary F. Meisel, Dan Polsky, Lyle Ungar, ...

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...

Yelp Reviews and Opioids

Apr. 10, 2018

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.

Physician Time Burden Associated with Querying Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Apr. 6, 2018

Marcus A Bachhuber, Brendan Saloner, Marc LaRochelle, Jessica S Merlin, Brandon C Maughan, Dan Polsky, Naum Shaparin, Sean M Murphy

Abstract [from journal]

Objective: Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) enable prescribers to review patient prescription histories, and their use is mandatory in many states. We estimated the cost of physicians retrieving PDMP patient reports compared with a model where a delegate (i.e., administrative staff) retrieves reports.
 
Methods: We performed a cost analysis with a one-year time horizon, from the perspective of physicians’ employers. We obtained specialty-specific estimates of...

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