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Health-Related Quality of Life Among Prescription Opioid-Dependent Patients: Results from a Multi-Site Study.

American Journal on Addictions 2015;24(4):308-314. [doi: 10.1111/ajad.12188]

Margaret L. Griffin, PhD, Heather E. Bennett, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, ScD, Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS, Scott E. Provost, MSW, MM, Roger D. Weiss, MD (all from McLean Hospital, Harvard, NEC Node).

Although prescription opioid use disorder has recently increased sharply in the United States, relatively little is known about the general well-being of this population. Assessment of quality of life in patients with substance use disorders has been recommended to improve clinical care. In this study, health-related quality of life was examined in prescription opioid-dependent patients at entry to the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network's "Prescription Opiate Addiction Treatment Study (POATS)", a national multi-site trial, to compare quality of life scores in the study sample to other populations. Background variables associated with quality of life in the literature were also examined.

Prescription opioid-dependent patients (N=653) were compared to general populations on the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) quality of life measure, and the association between patient background variables and quality of life was examined. Compared to a general population, the current sample of prescription opioid-dependent patients had worse physical and mental quality of life as measured by the SF-36, similar to other opioid-use disorder populations. Within this sample, women showed more impairment than men in mental quality of life, while older patients scored worse on physical, but not mental, quality of life. Chronic pain was associated with poorer physical quality of life.

Conclusions: The growing focus on wellness underscores the importance of measuring quality of life in addition to substance use outcomes. Routine assessment of health-related quality of life can add an important dimension to overall evaluation of patients' treatment response. Furthermore, brief, widely-used measures of health-related quality of life such as the SF-36 enable comparisons of these factors between different patient populations and can inform both clinical treatment selection and policy decisions about the allocation of health care resources. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2015)

Keywords: CTN platform/ancillary study | Gender differences | Older adults | Opioid dependence | Prescription-type opiates | Quality of life | SF-36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36) | Women | American Journal on Addictions (journal)

Document No: 1144, PMID: 25808055, PMCID: PMC4593699.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 5/6/2015.


Bennett, Heather E.
Fitzmaurice, Garrett M. mail
Griffin, Margaret L. mail
Hill, Kevin P.
Provost, Scott E. mail
Weiss, Roger D. search mail
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