Does brief chronic pain management education change opioid prescribing rates? A pragmatic trial in Australian early-career general practitioners

Holliday, Simon Mark, Hayes, Chris, Dunlop, Adrian J., Morgan, Simon, Tapley, Amanda, Henderson, Kim M., van Driel, Mieke L., Holliday, Elizabeth G., Ball, Jean I., Davey, Andrew, Spike, Neil Allan, McArthur, Lawrence Andrew and Magin, Parker John (2017) Does brief chronic pain management education change opioid prescribing rates? A pragmatic trial in Australian early-career general practitioners. Pain, 158 2: 278-288. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000755


Author Holliday, Simon Mark
Hayes, Chris
Dunlop, Adrian J.
Morgan, Simon
Tapley, Amanda
Henderson, Kim M.
van Driel, Mieke L.
Holliday, Elizabeth G.
Ball, Jean I.
Davey, Andrew
Spike, Neil Allan
McArthur, Lawrence Andrew
Magin, Parker John
Title Does brief chronic pain management education change opioid prescribing rates? A pragmatic trial in Australian early-career general practitioners
Journal name Pain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-3959
1872-6623
Publication date 2017-02-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000755
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 158
Issue 2
Start page 278
End page 288
Total pages 11
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Abstract We aimed to evaluate the effect of pain education on opioid prescribing by early-career general practitioners. A brief training workshop was delivered to general practice registrars of a single regional training provider. The workshop significantly reduced "hypothetical" opioid prescribing (in response to paper-based vignettes) in an earlier evaluation. The effect of the training on "actual" prescribing was evaluated using a nonequivalent control group design nested within the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) cohort study: 4 other regional training providers were controls. In ReCEnT, registrars record detailed data (including prescribing) during 60 consecutive consultations, on 3 occasions. Analysis was at the level of individual problem managed, with the primary outcome factor being prescription of an opioid analgesic and the secondary outcome being opioid initiation. Between 2010 and 2015, 168,528 problems were recorded by 849 registrars. Of these, 71% were recorded by registrars in the nontraining group. Eighty-two percentages were before training. Opioid analgesics were prescribed in 4382 (2.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.40-2.63) problems, with 1665 of these (0.97%, 95% CI: 0.91-1.04) representing a new prescription. There was no relationship between the training and total prescribing after training (interaction odds ratio: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.75-1.35; P value 0.96). There was some evidence of a reduction in initial opioid prescriptions in the training group (interaction odds ratio: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.48-1.16; P value 0.19). This brief training package failed to increase overall opioid cessation. The inconsistency of these actual prescribing results with "hypothetical" prescribing behavior suggests that reducing opioid prescribing in chronic noncancer pain requires more than changing knowledge and attitudes.
Formatted abstract
We aimed to evaluate the effect of pain education on opioid prescribing by early-career general practitioners. A brief training workshop was delivered to general practice registrars of a single regional training provider. The workshop significantly reduced “hypothetical” opioid prescribing (in response to paper-based vignettes) in an earlier evaluation. The effect of the training on “actual” prescribing was evaluated using a nonequivalent control group design nested within the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) cohort study: 4 other regional training providers were controls. In ReCEnT, registrars record detailed data (including prescribing) during 60 consecutive consultations, on 3 occasions. Analysis was at the level of individual problem managed, with the primary outcome factor being prescription of an opioid analgesic and the secondary outcome being opioid initiation. Between 2010 and 2015, 168,528 problems were recorded by 849 registrars. Of these, 71% were recorded by registrars in the nontraining group. Eighty-two percentages were before training. Opioid analgesics were prescribed in 4382 (2.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.40-2.63) problems, with 1665 of these (0.97%, 95% CI: 0.91-1.04) representing a new prescription. There was no relationship between the training and total prescribing after training (interaction odds ratio: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.75-1.35; P value 0.96). There was some evidence of a reduction in initial opioid prescriptions in the training group (interaction odds ratio: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.48-1.16; P value 0.19). This brief training package failed to increase overall opioid cessation. The inconsistency of these actual prescribing results with “hypothetical” prescribing behavior suggests that reducing opioid prescribing in chronic noncancer pain requires more than changing knowledge and attitudes.
Keyword Education
Training
Trainees
General practitioner registrars
Primary care
Pain management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Discipline of General Practice Publications
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