The purpose of this Neer Award winning (2018) Rothman Institute study was to determine whether or not preoperative opioid education reduces the risk of opioid dependence in surgical patients. The results of the study revealed that patients who were preoperatively educated on the potential dangers of postoperative opioid use were significantly less likely to become opioid-dependent at a 2-year follow-up.
Opioid education was found to be an independent factor that is protective against opioid dependence.
This study was limited to patients who had undergone the same single procedure (arthroscopic rotator cuff repair). Some key highlights of this study include:
- Opioid education (P = .03; odds ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.90) was found to be an independent factor that is protective against opioid dependence.
- Study patients had a lower rate of opioid dependence (11.4%, 8 of 50) than control patients (25.7%, 18 of 50) (P = .05)
- Significantly fewer prescriptions were filled by study patients (mean, 2.9) than by control patients (mean, 6.3) (P = .03)
- Fewer pills were consumed by study patients (median, 60; interquartile range [IQR], 30, 132) than by control patients (median, 120; IQR, 30, 340) (P = .10)