Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Manag Care. 2018 Jun 1;24(6):e196-e199.

Satisfaction with care after reducing opioids for chronic pain.

Author information

Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S Los Robles Ave, 2nd Fl, Pasadena, CA 91101. Email:



An epidemic of opioid overuse has resulted in nationwide efforts to decrease prescribing, but there is concern that implementing these recommendations will cause patients who are accustomed to opioids for chronic pain to be dissatisfied with care.


Retrospective cohort study of satisfaction scores for patients prescribed opioids for noncancer chronic pain for at least 6 consecutive months from 2009 to 2014.


We used mixed effects regression to examine the association between opioid dose reduction and the frequency of unfavorable patient satisfaction scores. Subgroup analysis compared the effect of dose reduction on satisfaction scores for encounters between patients and their assigned primary care provider (PCP) versus encounters between patients and an unassigned provider.


Included were 2492 encounters involving patients with high-dose chronic opioid use for noncancer pain. A reduction in opioid prescribing occurred in 29% of encounters, and most of these resulted in favorable satisfaction scores (86.4%). After adjustment, the odds of an unfavorable score in the dose reduction group were just marginally higher and not significant (odds ratio [OR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.00-1.73). Stratified by different encounter types, opioid dose reduction was not associated with unfavorable scores for visits with an assigned PCP (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.79-1.70), but the odds of an unfavorable score were higher for encounters with an unassigned provider (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.01-2.23).


Overall, reducing opioid use for chronic pain is not associated with lower patient satisfaction scores, but encounters with unassigned providers may be associated with slightly lower satisfaction when opioids are reduced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Managed Care & Healthcare Communications, LLC
Loading ...
Support Center