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Pain prevalence, severity and interference in an Australian opioid agonist treatment sample


Nielsen, S and Larance, B and Black, E and Lintzeris, N and Degenhardt, L and Ali, R and Cohen, M and Dunlop, A and Bruno, RB and Rivas, G and Brown, A and Holland, R, Pain prevalence, severity and interference in an Australian opioid agonist treatment sample, Drug and Alochol Review, 18-21 November 2012, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 29. ISSN 0959-5236 (2012) [Conference Extract]

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Introduction and Aims: Amongst international samples of methadone patients, high levels pain have been reported, for example one representative US study of methadone patients found 37% of had chronic severe pain and 80% reported any pain in the past week. Few studies have described pain prevalence in Australian opioid agonist treatments (OAT) populations. As such, this study aimed to describe the pain prevalence in an Australian OAT sample to better inform treatment needs. Design and Methods: Data on pain, physical health and previous tried pain treatments were collected in a convenience sample of 141 OAT patients in NSW. Measures included basic demographics, the Brief Pain Inventory, general health questions (Composite International Diagnostic Interview), pain history and previous treatments. Comparisons were made between methadone (n = 98) and buprenorphine (n = 43) patients. Results: Sixty percent of the sample rated their health as good to excellent, with 40% reporting current pain. Of those with current pain, 68% reported trialling some form of non-opioid treatment. For those with pain, the mean pain severity score was 4.64 (SD 2.38), and mean pain interference score was 5.42 (SD 2.60), indicating moderate pain severity and interference. No differences were detected between methadone and buprenorphine patients on current pain, pain severity or pain interference. Discussion and Conclusions: Pain amongst this sample of OAT patients appears less prevalent than previously described in US samples. Further work to specifi cally examine chronic pain may be warranted, as well as examining if treatment outcomes differ for those with and without current pain.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, RB (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:83689
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-03-20
Last Modified:2013-03-20

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