Initial Provider Specialty is Associated with Long-term Opiate Use in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Low Back and Lower Extremity Pain. Spine Azad, T., Vail, D., Bentley, J., Han, S., Suarez, P., Varshneya, K., Mittal, V., Veeravagu, A., Desai, M., Bhattacharya, J., Ratliff, J. 2018

Abstract

Retrospective longitudinal cohort analysis of patients diagnosed in 2010, with continuous enrollment six months prior to and 12 months following the initial visit.To determine whether provider specialty influences patterns of opiate utilization long after initial diagnosis.Patients with low back pain present to a variety of providers and receive a spectrum of treatments, including opiate medications. The impact of initial provider type on opiate use in this population is uncertain.We performed a retrospective analysis of opiate-naïve adult patients in the United States with newly diagnosed low back or lower extremity pain. We estimated the risk of early opiate prescription (= 14 days from diagnosis) and long-term opiate use (= six prescriptions in 12 months) based on the provider type at initial diagnosis using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for patient demographics and comorbidities.We identified 478,981 newly diagnosed opiate-naïve patients. Of these, 40.4% received an opiate prescription within one year and 4.0% met criteria for long-term use. The most common initial provider type was family practice, associated with a 24.4% risk of early opiate prescription (95% CI, 24.1-24.6) and a 2.0% risk of long-term opiate use (95% CI, 2.0-2.1). Risk of receiving an early opiate prescription was higher among patients initially diagnosed by emergency medicine (43.1%; 95% CI, 41.6-44.5) or at an urgent care facility (40.8%; 95% CI, 39.4-42.3). Risk of long-term opiate use was highest for patients initially diagnosed by pain management/anesthesia (6.7%; 95% CI, 6.0-7.3) or physical medicine and rehabilitation (3.4%; 95% CI, 3.1-3.8) providers.Initial provider type influences early opiate prescription and long-term opiate use among opiate-naïve patients with newly diagnosed low back and lower extremity pain.3.

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