Characteristics of medical inpatients with acute pain and suspected non-medical use of opioids

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ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to characterize medical inpatients with acute pain suspected of non-medical opioid use.MethodMedical inpatients treated with opioids for acute pain referred for psychiatric consultation were administered questionnaires including the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Pain Patients (SOAPP) and the Hospital Misuse Checklist (HMC), developed for this study.ResultsThe nine subjects referred for evaluation of possible non-medical opioid use, compared to the 23 subjects referred for other reasons, were younger (37.7 vs. 51.3, t = 2.81, p = .012), more likely to score positive on the SOAPP (100% vs. 47.8%, Fisher's p < .05) and report lifetime histories of any substance use disorder (SUD) (88.9% vs. 30.4%, χ2 = 9.7, p = .002). No differences were found on items on the HMC.ConclusionsThe results of this preliminary study indicate that medical inpatients with suspected non-medical use of opioids resemble chronic pain outpatients misusing opioids. Further research is needed to better characterize this patient population and to validate the HMC measure. (Am J Addict 2013;22:515–520)

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