Factors Associated With Persistent Opioid Use Among Injured Workers

Bottom Line: Persistent opioid use was common among injured workers who filed workers’ compensation claims. This observational study included more than 9,500 injured workers who filed claims in Maryland from 2008 to 2016 and who were initially treated with an opioid prescription. Nearly 30 percent of those injured workers continued to fill opioid prescriptions more than 90 days after injury. Factors including older age, a preinjury income of more than $60,000, crush injuries, strain or sprain injuries, claims resulting in permanent total disability, and an associated diagnosis of chronic joint pain were associated with persistent opioid use. The study’s authors suggest evaluating the effectiveness of alternative pain management strategies and interventions to lower persistent opioid use that target patients with characteristics identified in the study.

Authors:  Gerard P. Slobogean, M.D., M.P.H., F.R.C.S.C., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.