Multimorbidity and Opioid Prescribing in Hospitalized Older Adults.

Link to article at PubMed

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Multimorbidity and Opioid Prescribing in Hospitalized Older Adults.

J Palliat Med. 2019 Nov 05;:

Authors: Schear S, Patel K, Deng LX, Miaskowski C, Maravilla I, Garrigues SK, Thompson N, Auerbach AD, Ritchie CS

Background: Multimorbidity and pain are both common among older adults, yet pain treatment strategies for older patients with multimorbidity have not been well characterized. Objectives: To assess the prevalence and relationship between multimorbidity and opioid prescribing in hospitalized older medical patients with pain. Methods: We collected demographic, morbidity, pain, and analgesic treatment data through structured review of the electronic medical records of a consecutive sample of 238 medical patients, aged ≥65 years admitted between November 2014 and May 2015 with moderate-to-severe pain by numerical pain rating scale (range 4-10). We used the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics (CIRS-G) to assess multimorbidity and cumulative illness burden. We examined the relationship between morbidity measures and opioid prescribing at hospital discharge using multivariate regression analysis. Results: The mean age was 75 ± 8 years, 57% were female and 50% were non-White. Mean CIRS-G total score was 17 ± 6, indicating high cumulative illness burden. Ninety-nine percent of patients had multimorbidity, defined as moderate-to-extremely severe morbidity in ≥2 organ systems. Sixty percent of patients received an opioid prescription at discharge. In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, race, and gender, patients with a discharge opioid prescription were significantly more likely to have higher cumulative illness burden and chronic pain. Conclusion: Among older medical inpatients, multimorbidity was nearly universal, and patients with higher cumulative illness burden were more likely to receive a discharge opioid prescription. More studies of benefits and harms of analgesic treatments in older adults with multimorbidity are needed to guide clinical practice.

PMID: 31689152 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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