Increased scrutiny of opioid prescribing for patients with chronic pain has led providers and healthcare organizations to consider opioid-dose reductions, known as tapering. Such actions can precipitate communication challenges for primary-care physicians. A new study, published in The Journal of Pain, examined patient-doctor conversations and explored best practices associated with opioid tapering. The Journal of Pain is the peer-review publication of the American Pain Society, www.americanpainsociety.org.
“Institutional mandates to tamper opioid doses can lead to communication challenges with patients, especially those who have achieved pain relief from taking long-term opioids and use them as prescribed,” said lead author Marianne S. Matthias, PhD, a research scientist at Indiana University School of Medicine.