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Chronic pain diagnoses and opioid dispensings among insured individuals with serious mental illness

Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) have particularly high rates of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) and are also more likely to receive prescription opioids for their pain. However, there have been no known studies published to date that have examined opioid treatment patterns among individuals with schizophrenia. Using electronic medical record data across 13 Mental Health Research Network sites, individuals with diagnoses of MDD (N = 65,750), BD (N = 38,117) or schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N = 12,916) were identified and matched on age, sex and Medicare status to controls with no documented mental illness. CNCP diagnoses and prescription opioid medication dispensings were extracted for the matched samples. Multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate (1) the odds of receiving a pain-related diagnosis and (2) the odds of receiving opioids, by separate mental illness diagnosis category compared with matched controls, controlling for age, sex, Medicare status, race/ethnicity, income, medical comorbidities, healthcare utilization and chronic pain diagnoses. Multivariable models indicated that having a MDD (OR = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.85-1.95) or BD (OR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.66-1.77) diagnosis was associated with increased odds of a CNCP diagnosis after controlling for age, sex, race, income, medical comorbidities and healthcare utilization. By contrast, having a schizophrenia diagnosis was associated with decreased odds of receiving a chronic pain diagnosis (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = 0.82-0.90). Having a MDD (OR = 2.59; 95% CI = 2.44-2.75) or BD (OR = 2.12; 95% CI = 

Authors: Owen-Smith A; Sterling SA; Campbell CI; Simon G; et al.

BMC Psychiatry. 2020 01 31;20(1):40. Epub 2020-01-31.

PubMed abstract

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