Toronto, Canada-based Toronto General Hospital's Transitional Pain Service successfully reduced perioperative opioid use in complex pain patients, according to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Pain.
Researchers studied 251 surgical Toronto General Hospital patients with a high risk of developing chronic pain or persistent opioid use. They were divided into two categories — opioid inexperienced and opioid experienced — and evaluated six months after surgery.
Here are six insights about the pain program and its results:
1. Patients who didn't take opioids before surgery reduced their opioid intake by 69 percent postoperatively.
2. Forty-six percent of those patients weaned off opioids entirely.
3. Patients who did take opioids prior to surgery reduced opioid consumption by 44 percent.
4. Twenty-six percent of those patients weaned off opioids completely.
5. Consumption at the time of hospital discharge predicted weaning in opioid-naive patients, while weaning for the other group was predicted by pain catastrophizing, neuropathy and recreational drug use.
6. Pain and function were significantly improved for all patients.