Cedars-Sinai to study how education materials, electronic prompts can moderate opioid use

Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles has been awarded $2 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study how physicians can effectively discuss opioid use with chronic pain patients.

The researchers will compare the effectiveness of two communication strategies over the course of one year. In the first approach, physicians will share educational materials with patients prior to office visits. In the second approach, computer alerts will prompt physicians to discuss opioid use with their patients prior to refilling opioid prescriptions.

In the past, many studies have used prescription claims data to investigate opioid use. Cedars-Sinai hopes to provide additional insight by capturing pain medication use through EHRs and integrating patient feedback into their findings. This feedback might gauge quality of life or ask about communication with their physician.

"Incorporating patients' perspectives into the study design ensures that the findings will be relevant to real people in general medical practices, and not just some highly selected sample," said Itai Danovitch, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry and director of addiction psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai.

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