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Ann Behav Med. 2019 Nov 15. pii: kaz022. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaz022. [Epub ahead of print]

Daily Associations between Child and Parent Psychological Factors and Home Opioid Use in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.
Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.
Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Institute on Development and Disability, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.



Opioid analgesics are frequently used in the home setting to manage episodic pain in youth with sickle cell disease (SCD). Given the risk of adverse side effects, including constipation and sedation, understanding factors associated with at-home opioid use is important for maximizing pain relief while minimizing negative side effects.


The present study aimed to evaluate the relationship between individual psychological factors (pain catastrophizing and negative affect), caregiver psychological factors (catastrophizing about child's pain and caregiver negative affect), and home opioid use in youth with SCD.


Youth with SCD (n = 32) and a caregiver (n = 28) recruited during a routine outpatient hematology visit completed electronic 14 day diaries assessing pain, opioid use, and psychological factors.


Approximately 28% of youth (n = 9) reported pain ≥50% of diary days and a third of youth (n = 11, 34%) used opioid analgesics at least one of the diary days. The number of days opioid analgesics were used ranged from 0 to 7 (50% of diary days). Results from generalized linear mixed models indicated greater child negative affect accounted for increased odds of opioid use on a given day when accounting for pain intensity. Greater caregiver catastrophizing about children's pain was also associated with increased odds of children's opioid use.


Child and parent psychological factors relate to child opioid use at home for SCD-related pain. Future research is warranted in larger samples to identify targets for interventions to enhance pain management while reducing opioid-related risk and side effects.


Hematology; Opioid; Pain; Pediatrics; Psychology; Sickle cell disease


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