Patient-Centered Opioid Tapering Study

Trial ID or NCT#



not recruiting iconNOT RECRUITING


This is an observational study of a voluntary opioid tapering protocol conducted in community outpatients taking long term prescription opioids for chronic pain. Patients who would otherwise continue with their existing opioid prescriptions were encouraged to participate in a voluntary opioid taper program. Interested patients were identified by their pain physician, Dr. Richard Stieg, and then completed an online informed consent document and baseline self-report assessments including types and doses of opioid medications as well as demographic and psychosocial measures, clinical and pain characteristics. Patients were either given or mailed a free copy of a patient book The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit, or Less Pain, Fewer Pills: Avoid the dangers of prescription opioids and gain control over chronic pain. Over the following weeks and up to 4 months, Dr. Stieg implemented a slow, individually tailored opioid taper in all patient participants. Follow-up online self-report surveys were completed at 4 months post enrollment. Opioid dose data were confirmed via medical chart review, and doses were converted to a standardized morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD). Main outcome was change in opioid dose baseline to 4 months. Secondary outcome was change in pain intensity (numeric rating scale, 0-10) baseline to 4 months.

Official Title

Patient-Centered Opioid Tapering in Outpatients With Chronic Pain and Long-Term Opioid Use

Eligibility Criteria

Ages Eligible for Study: Older than 18 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
Inclusion Criteria:
  1. - Over age 18 - Chronic pain - Chronic daily opioids - Wish to reduce opioid dose
Exclusion Criteria:
  1. - Not able to communicate in English - Not able to complete electronic questionnaires - No major cognitive impairment - Not actively engaged in treatment for substance use disorder


Beth Darnall
Beth Darnall
Pain management specialist, Pain psychologist
Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Adult Pain) and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (General Psychiatry & Psychology (Adult))