Self-Reported Practices in Opioid Management of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: A Survey of Canadian Family Physicians
Allen, Michael John
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Chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) affects approximately 25% of Canadians. Opioids are medications frequently prescribed for management of patients with CNCP. Concern about addiction, misuse, and diversion for illicit use led the Canadian medical regulatory bodies to release a national guideline on the safe and effective use of opioids in CNCP. This thesis used an online survey to determine how closely the self-reported practices of Canadian family physicians matched the recommendations of the Canadian Guideline. We received 710 responses suitable for analysis. Thirteen percent of respondents did not prescribe strong opioids for CNCP. Practice gaps indentified were infrequently using a management agreement and monitoring pain with a scale; incorrect choice of second line opioid for mild to moderate pain; incorrect choice of first, second, and third line opioids for severe pain, and starting fentanyl incorrectly. Findings provide baseline information for future follow-up to compare physicians’ adherence to the guideline.