October 17, 2019

Decreased postop opioid prescribing not linked to patient’s satisfaction with surgeon

Editor's Note

This study found that opioid prescribing can be decreased by more than 50% and not adversely affect patients’ satisfaction scores with their surgeons.

Of 996 patients surveyed on their satisfaction with their surgeons before (period A) and after (period B) an educational intervention that resulted in decreased opioid prescribing, 105 responded (37 in period D and 68 in period B).

Comparing period A with B:

  • the proportion of patients prescribed opioids decreased from 90.2% to 72.8%
  • the mean number of opioid pills per prescription decreased from 28.3 to 13.3
  • there was no difference in mean clinician satisfaction ratings (9.70 vs 9.65)
  • there was no difference in mean overall satisfaction ratings (9.55 vs 9.59)
  • there was no significant difference in overall satisfaction when individual clinicians were analyzed.

Concern about clinician satisfaction scores should not be a barrier to reducing opioid prescribing by surgeons, the researchers concluded.


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