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Pain. 2011 Feb;152(2):397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.11.006. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Identifying prescription opioid use disorder in primary care: diagnostic characteristics of the Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM).

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Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


The Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM), a self-report assessment of past-month aberrant medication-related behaviors, has been validated in specialty pain management patients. The performance characteristics of the COMM were evaluated in primary care (PC) patients with chronic pain. It was hypothesized that the COMM could identify patients with prescription drug use disorder (PDD). English-speaking adults awaiting PC visits at an urban, safety-net hospital, who had chronic pain and had received any opioid analgesic prescription in the past year, were administered the COMM. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview served as the "gold standard," using DSM-IV criteria for PDD and other substance use disorders (SUDs). A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve demonstrated the COMM's diagnostic test characteristics. Of the 238 participants, 27 (11%) met DSM-IV PDD criteria, whereas 17 (7%) had other SUDs, and 194 (82%) had no disorder. The mean COMM score was higher in those with PDD than among all others (ie, those with other SUDs or no disorder, mean 20.4 [SD 10.8] vs 8.4 [SD 7.5], P<.0001). A COMM score of⩾13 had a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 77% for identifying patients with PDD. The area under the ROC curve was 0.84. For chronic pain patients prescribed opioids, the development of PDD is an undesirable complication. Among PC patients with chronic pain-prescribed prescription opioids, the COMM is a promising tool for identifying those with PDD. Among primary care patients with chronic pain-prescribed opioids, the validated Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM) is a promising tool for identifying patients with prescription opioid use disorder.

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