Patients with musculoskeletal conditions who receive prescription opioids are more satisfied with their care than comparable patients who do not receive opioids. In a study of nationally representative data, 13 percent (2,564) of more than 19,000 patients with musculoskeletal conditions used prescription opioids.
Among those who used opioids over time, moderate and heavy use was associated with greater likelihood (55 percent and 43 percent, respectively) of being most satisfied, compared to single or no use of opioids.
Although opioids may be expected to offer patients with musculoskeletal conditions improved pain control, patients taking opioids in this study had more pain and worse health and disability than those taking limited or no opioids, suggesting a more complex picture.
As clinician compensation is increasingly linked to patient satisfaction, and as the United States struggles with an epidemic in opioid use, the authors suggest it is imperative to determine whether improved satisfaction with care is associated with demonstrable health benefits.
Explore further: Amount of opioids prescribed after hospital discharge varies
Brian D. Sites et al. Prescription Opioid Use and Satisfaction With Care Among Adults With Musculoskeletal Conditions, The Annals of Family Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1370/afm.2148