A Kaiser Permanente study of nearly 2,500 patients who used high doses of opioids for at least six months showed that reducing their opioid use did not lower their satisfaction with care. The study, “Satisfaction With Care After Reducing Opioids for Chronic Pain,” was published in The American Journal of Managed Care.
Researchers tracked patient encounters from 2009 to 2014 among Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California. They included 2,492 encounters with patients prescribed high doses of opioids for at least six consecutive months for chronic pain. The study compared patient satisfaction scores between those whose dose was reduced to the recommended level for at least 30 days following the encounter on which the satisfaction score was linked and those without such a reduction.
The study found:
- Most encounters resulting in an opioid dose reduction maintained favorable overall satisfaction (86.4 percent).
- Reducing opioid doses for chronic pain was not associated with unfavorable patient satisfaction scores.
- The odds of a favorable satisfaction rating were higher when opioids were reduced by a patient’s regular primary care physician versus a different physician.
The results and goal of the study was to help promote the use of recommended guidelines and to support that patient satisfaction is not effected.