Chronic pain patients are frequently treated with opioid medications in primary care, where brief measures of risk for opioid misuse have great utility. Catastrophic thinking is a clinically relevant and potentially modifiable factor associated with several chronic pain outcomes, including risk for opioid misuse. This study examined the utility of a single-item measure of pain-related catastrophizing in predicting risk of opioid misuse.Method:
119 chronic pain patients completed the Coping Strategies Questionnaire catastrophizing item, Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R). Area under the receiver operator curve (AUC) and linear regression were used to examine predictive utility of the catastrophizing item.Results:
The catastrophizing item demonstrated a fair ability to discriminate those with high risk for opioid misuse on the SOAPP-R (AUC = 0.74), whereas the PCS demonstrated good discrimination (AUC = 0.85). The single item alone accounted for 30% of variance in SOAPP-R scores.Conclusion:
A single question assessing pain catastrophizing has utility for predicting risk for opioid misuse. In addition, it provides the primary care provider with information on a potentially modifiable risk factor that can be addressed within the context of a brief clinical visit.