AB112. A systematic review of chronic pain patients’ perceptions of prescription opioids
Session 8: Anaesthesia

AB112. A systematic review of chronic pain patients’ perceptions of prescription opioids

Emma McDonnell1, Dominic Harmon2

1Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland; 2Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle, Ireland


Background: Chronic pain affects a significant proportion of the world’s population and causes great emotional and physical suffering to patients. As it is not yet fully understood, further research into chronic pain sources and treatment modalities is required. At present, prescription opioids are commonly prescribed in chronic pain but the perceived benefits are paralleled by numerous adverse effects. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the current literature on chronic pain patients’ perceptions of prescription opioids.

Methods: An initial scoping review of the literature was conducted followed by the construction of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The electronic databases that were systematically searched in July 2019 included PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, and Cochrane. Multiple keyword variation searches were used: chronic pain OR pain AND patients AND perception OR view OR attitude OR opinion OR understanding OR impression AND prescription opioids.

Results: A number of common perceptions arose from the review. These included patients feeling stigmatised by others, fears of addiction, opioids’ usefulness in controlling pain, concerns of opioids impairing work and interfering with functioning despite their perceived role in regaining independence, and healthcare professionals’ unease prescribing and discussing opioids with patients.

Conclusions: Understanding patients’ perceptions and unique pain experiences may benefit the relationship between doctor and patient, enabling a mutual decision-making process. This may enhance treatment outcomes and result in more compassionate care in chronic pain.

Keywords: Chronic pain; patient perceptions; opioids


doi: 10.21037/map.2020.AB112
Cite this abstract as: McDonnell E, Harmon D. A systematic review of chronic pain patients’ perceptions of prescription opioids. Mesentery Peritoneum 2020;4:AB112.