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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Aug 1;165:61-70. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 May 21.

Primary care physicians' perspectives on the prescription opioid epidemic.

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States. Electronic address: alene@jhu.edu.
2
Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520, United States.
3
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States; Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States; Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States.
4
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 3300 Kossuth Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467, United States.
5
Department of Communication, Cornell University, 328 Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States.
6
Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 420 Delaware Street SE, 15-230 PWB, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States.
7
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States; Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States.
8
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, United States.
9
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States; Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prescription opioid use disorder and overdose have risen substantially in the U.S. Primary care physicians are critical to many ongoing and proposed efforts to address the prescription opioid epidemic. Yet, little is known about their attitudes and beliefs surrounding this issue. This study aimed to determine primary care physicians' perceptions of the seriousness of the problem, its causes, groups responsible for addressing it, attitudes toward individuals with prescription opioid use disorder, beliefs about the effectiveness of addiction treatments, and support for various policies.

METHODS:

We conducted a national web-based survey in 2014 among 1010 primary care physicians. We gauged responses to attitude and belief items on 7-point Likert scales. We examined the proportion agreeing with each statement, and whether responses differed among physicians prescribing higher and lower volumes of opioids.

RESULTS:

Respondents largely attributed the causes of prescription opioid use disorder to individual-oriented factors and certain physician-oriented factors, and believed that individuals with prescription opioid use disorder and physicians were primarily responsible for addressing the problem. Negative attitudes toward people with prescription opioid use disorder were prevalent, but a majority believed that treatment could be effective. There was majority support for all measured policies, with the highest levels of support for policies to monitor prescribing among patients potentially at risk for an opioid use disorder and to improve physician education and training.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given strong endorsement of recommended policies, physician support could be leveraged to advance efforts to curb prescription opioid use disorder and overdose.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesics; Opioid-related disorders; Opioids; Physicians; Primary care; Substance-related disorders

PMID:
27261154
PMCID:
PMC4939126
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.05.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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