Development of a Brief Patient-Administered Screening Tool for Prescription Opioid Dependence for Primary Care Settings



Publication Details

Nielsen, S., Picco, L., Campbell, G., Lintzeris, N., Larance, B., Farrell, M., Degenhardt, L. & Bruno, R. (2020). Development of a Brief Patient-Administered Screening Tool for Prescription Opioid Dependence for Primary Care Settings. Pain Medicine, 21 (2), e79-e88.


2019 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. OBJECTIVE: To develop a short, patient-administered screening tool that will allow for earlier assessment of prescription opioid dependence (often referred to as addiction) in primary care settings. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional analysis (N = 1,134) from the two-year time point of the Pain and Opioids IN Treatment (POINT) cohort was used in the scale development. SUBJECTS: Participants who completed two-year interviews in the POINT study, a prospective cohort study that followed people with chronic noncancer pain over a five-year period, and who were prescribed strong opioids for a minimum of six weeks at baseline. METHODS: An advisory committee provided advice on wording and content for screening in primary care settings. Univariate logistic regression identified individual items that were significantly associated with meeting ICD-11 criteria for prescription opioid dependence. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA and CFA) were conducted, and items were reduced to identify a small item set that were discriminative and shared a simple underlying structure. RESULTS: Sixty-four variables associated with ICD-11 criteria for prescription opioid dependence were initially identified. Four rounds of EFA were performed, resulting in five items remaining. CFA identified two possible four-item combinations, with the final combination chosen based on greater item endorsement and the results of goodness-of-fit indices. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing prescription opioid dependence is an important part of the global public health challenge surrounding rising opioid-related harm. This study addresses an important initial requisite step to develop a brief screening tool. Further studies are required to validate the tool in clinical settings.

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