Findings from a new study suggest surgeons could “greatly decrease” the proportion of their patients receiving opioids and the number of pills prescribed, with no significant change in patient satisfaction ratings.
The research, published in JAMA Surgery , surveyed 996 patients who underwent five common outpatient surgical procedures at a single centre which were performed by 11 surgeons over two time periods: one prior to (period A) and one after (period B) an educational intervention that resulted in decreased opioid prescribing.
The authors reported that the percentage of patients prescribed an opioid was significantly lower in period B than in period A (72.8% vs 90.2%; P<.001 and that of the patients who received opioids mean number pills prescribed per patient was cent lower in period b than a.>
The study found there was no difference in the mean clinician satisfaction ratings from period A to period B (9.70 vs 9.65; P=.69).
“Concern about clinician satisfaction scores should not be a barrier to reducing opioid prescribing by surgeons and thus decreasing the pool of excess opioid pills available for misuse, diversion, and overdose,” the authors concluded.