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Title: Therapeutic alternatives for supporting GPs to deprescribe opioids: a cross-sectional survey
Authors: White, Ruth A
Hayes, C 
Boyes, Allison W
Chiu, Simon
Paul, Christine L
Keywords: Opioids
Chronic Pain
Issue Date: Nov-2018
Source: 13 November 2018; bjgpopen18X101609 [ePub ahead of print]
Abstract: Background GPs are central to opioid strategy in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP). Lack of treatment alternatives and providers are common reasons cited for not deprescribing opioids. There are limited data about availability of multidisciplinary healthcare providers (MHCPs), such as psychologists, physiotherapists, or dietitians, who can provide broader treatments. Aim To explore availability of MHCPs, and the association with GP opioid deprescribing and transition to therapeutic alternatives for CNCP. Design & setting Cross-sectional survey of all practising GPs (N = 1480) in one mixed urban and regional Australian primary health network. Method A self-report mailed questionnaire assessed the availability of MHCPs and management of their most recent patient on long-term opioids for CNCP. Results Six hundred and eighty-one (46%) valid responses were received. Most GPs (71%) had access to a pain specialist and MHCPs within 50 km. GPs’ previous referral for specialist support was significantly associated with access to a greater number of MHCPs (P = 0.001). Employment of a nurse increased the rate ratio of available MHCPs by 12.5% (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.125, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.001 to 1.264). Only one-third (32%) of GPs reported willingness to deprescribe and shift to broader CNCP treatments. Availability of MHCPs was not significantly associated with deprescribing decisions. Conclusion Lack of geographical access to known MHCPs does not appear to be a major barrier to opioid deprescribing and shifting toward non-pharmacological treatments for CNCP. Considerable opportunity remains to encourage GPs' decision to deprescribe, with employment of a practice nurse appearing to play a role.
DOI: 10.3399/bjgpopen18X101609
Journal Title: BJGP Open
Type: Journal Article
Study/Trial: Survey
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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