What is OPP?

Opioid Prescribers’ Perspectives

A Two-Phase Study to Help Prevent the Overprescription of Opioids

What are the phases of this study?

Phase One

In Phase I (6/20-5/21) researchers conducted qualitative interviews with 32 providers (i.e., physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician associates) who prescribe opioids for acute pain across MA to understand their perspectives on opioid prescription screening practices.

The study team coded and analyzed the data with the NVivo program (version 12 Plus) using standard qualitative methods.

Phase Two

For Phase II, researchers will build upon the Phase I findings to implement a quantitative survey to providers in MA to further understand their screening practices, with an emphasis on how current practices include or miss patients who may not “seem” at risk.

The results will guide the development or amendment of a screening tool, in addition to creating guidelines around screening people who appear to be of lower risk of developing an opioid use disorder.

Why is this project important?

  • Eighty percent of people who use heroin are initiated with prescription opioids
  • Research has demonstrated that for many patients, medication designed to alleviate pain can have an unintended euphoric side effect
  • Previous studies have shown that many providers feel they lack the guidance or training necessary to know when they should prescribe opioids, as well as the appropriate dosages to prescribe
  • While screening tools provide an important mechanism for identifying patients at high risk, they may not be sensitive enough to identify those at lower risk, thereby creating disparities related to who develops an OUD