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Association of Care Practices with Suicide Attempts in US Veterans Prescribed Opioid Medications for Chronic Pain Management
- Association of Care Practices with Suicide Attempts in US Veterans Prescribed Opioid Medications for Chronic Pain Management
- Im, Jinwoo J.; Shachter, Ross D.; Oliva, Elizabeth M.; Henderson, Patricia T.; Paik, Meenah C.; Trafton, Jodie A.
- DGIST Authors
- Im, Jinwoo J.
- Issue Date
- Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30(7), 979-991
- Article Type
- Adult; Chronic Pain; Clinical Practice Guideline; Disease Association; Drug Screening; Female; Follow Up; Health Care Practice; Human; Major Clinical Study; Male; Mood Disorder; Opiate; Opioid Therapy; Patient Risk; Practice Guideline; Prescription; Retrospective Study; Risk Assessment; Suicide Attempt; United States; Veterans Health
- IMPORTANCE: Patients receiving opioid therapy are at elevated risk of attempting suicide. Guidelines recommend practices to mitigate risk, but it is not known whether these are effective. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to examine associations between the receipt of guideline-recommended care for opioid therapy and risk of suicide attempt. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a retrospective analysis of administrative data for all Veteran patients prescribed any short-acting opioids on a chronic basis or any long-acting opioids from the Veterans Health Administration during fiscal year 2010. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Multivariate, mixed-effects logistic regression analyses were conducted to define the associations between the risk of suicide attempt and receipt of guideline-recommended care at the individual level and rates of use of recommended care at the facility level, while accounting for patient risk factors. RESULTS: At the individual level, having a mood disorder was highly associated with suicide attempts (odds ratios [ORs] = 3.5, 3.9; 95 % confidence intervals [CIs] = 3.3–3.9, 3.3–4.6 for chronic short-acting and long-acting groups, respectively). At the facility level, patients on opioid therapy within the facilities ordering more drug screens were associated with decreased risk of suicide attempt (ORs = 0.2, 0.3; CIs = 0.1–0.3, 0.2–0.6 for chronic short-acting and long-acting groups, respectively). In addition, patients on long-acting opioid therapy within the facilities providing more follow-up after new prescriptions were associated with decreased risk of suicide attempt (OR = 0.2, CI = 0.0–0.7), and patients on long-acting opioid therapy within the facilities having higher sedative co-prescription rates were associated with increased risk of suicide attempt (OR = 20.3, CI = 1.1–382.2). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Encouraging facilities to make more consistent use of drug screening, provide follow-up within 4 weeks for patients initiating new opioid prescriptions, and avoid sedative co-prescription in combination with long-acting opioids may help prevent suicide attempts. Some clinicians may selectively employ guideline-recommended practices with at-risk patients. © 2015, Society of General Internal Medicine.
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