eCite Digital Repository

Cohort protocol paper: The Pain and Opioids In Treatment (POINT) study


Campbell, G and Mattick, R and Bruno, R and Larance, B and Nielsen, S and Cohne, M and Lintzeris, N and Shand, F and Hall, WD and Hoban, B and Kehler, C and Farrell, M and Degenhardt, L, Cohort protocol paper: The Pain and Opioids In Treatment (POINT) study, BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, 15, (17) pp. 1-9. ISSN 2050-6511 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright The Authors-This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, (CC BY 2.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

DOI: doi:10.1186/2050-6511-15-17


Background: Internationally, there is concern about the increased prescribing of pharmaceutical opioids for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP). In part, this is related to limited knowledge about the long-term benefits and outcomes of opioid use for CNCP. There has also been increased injection of some pharmaceutical opioids by people who inject drugs, and for some patients, the development of problematic and/or dependent use. To date, much of the research on the use of pharmaceutical opioids among people with CNCP, have been clinical trials that have excluded patients with complex needs, and have been of limited duration (i.e. fewer than 12 weeks). The Pain and Opioids In Treatment (POINT) study is unique study that aims to: 1) examine patterns of opioid use in a cohort of patients prescribed opioids for CNCP; 2) examine demographic and clinical predictors of adverse events, including opioid abuse or dependence, medication diversion, other drug use, and overdose; and 3) identify factors predicting poor pain relief and other outcomes.

Methods/Design: The POINT cohort comprises around 1,500 people across Australia prescribed pharmaceutical opioids for CNCP. Participants will be followed-up at four time points over a two year period. POINT will collect information on demographics, physical and medication use history, pain, mental health, drug and alcohol use, non-adherence, medication diversion, sleep, and quality of life. Data linkage will provide information on medications and services from Medicare (Australia’s national health care scheme). Data on those who receive opioid substitution therapy, and on mortality, will be linked.

Discussion: This study will rigorously examine prescription opioid use among CNCP patients, and examine its relationship to important health outcomes. The extent to which opioids for chronic pain is associated with pain reduction, quality of life, mental and physical health, aberrant medication behavior and substance use disorders will be extensively examined. Improved understanding of the longer-term outcomes of chronic opioid therapy will direct community-based interventions and health policy in Australia and internationally. The results of this study will assist clinicians to better identify those patients who are at risk of adverse outcomes and who therefore require alternative treatment strategies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:opioid treatment, opioids, chronic non-cancer pain, pain, quality of life, dependence, non-adherence
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, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:90242
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1022522)
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-03-29
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:609 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page