CDC Seeks Patients’ Input to Update Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids

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by Forest Ray PhD |

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pain management and opioids

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking input from people who live with pain, as well as their caregivers and healthcare providers to better understand values and preferences related to pain management.

This information will help the CDC update and expand the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, published in 2016.

Pain accompanies many disorders. People with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, for instance, may experience chronic and often intense pain from an early age. Research has found that both the prescription of and exposure to opioids often goes underreported among people with hemophilia.

“Many in the bleeding disorders community live with chronic pain,” Leonard Valentino, MD, president and CEO of the National Hemophilia Foundation, said in a press release. “It’s important that their perspectives — and the perspectives of our providers — are included in these conversations, especially when the outcomes could have an effect on how they manage pain in the future.”

To help guide the updates to the opioid prescription guidelines, the CDC will conduct interviews with approximately 100 participants, either by phone or via an online platform. Each interview is expected to take approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

The CDC invites people wishing to share input to apply for an interview. The deadline is Aug. 21.

From those qualified for an interview, the CDC seeks a balanced representation of target populations. These will include patients with both chronic and acute pain, people with a range of pain management experiences — positive, negative, neither, both — and those with different roles in patient care and pain management, such as patients’ family members and/or caregivers, as well as healthcare providers who care for people with pain or conditions that can complicate pain management, such as opioid use disorder or overdose.

During the interviews, participants will be asked to discuss their experiences with using or prescribing different pain management alternatives, such as opioids, non-opioid medication, and non-pharmaceutical alternatives such as exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Respondents also will be asked for their thoughts regarding the benefits, risks, and/or harms of the pain management options they have used.

The CDC will ask participants to discuss experiences in choosing from the various pain management options, including how factors such as accessibility, cost, benefits, and/or risks are considered.

Finally, the interviews will address participants’ experiences in getting the information they needed to make their pain management decisions.

Any information that can identify a respondent, such as name, date and place of birth, will be removed prior to data analysis. The CDC will request public comment on the updated draft guideline before final publication.

More details, including how to apply, are accessible here.