Nevin Manimala Statistics

Opioid prescription patterns in a children’s hospital from 2012 to 2016

J Opioid Manag. 2023 Nov-Dec;19(6):489-494. doi: 10.5055/jom.0833.


STUDY OBJECTIVE: Pain management is a widely discussed topic, especially in the setting of the current opioid epidemic. Previous studies have shown that the use of opioids increased in the adult population. We aimed to look at the use of narcotic and non-narcotic pain medications at a large pediatric hospital to discern if patterns of pediatric pain management changed over time.

METHODS: 58,402 analgesic prescriptions of patients 0-21 years of age were analyzed from May 2012 to November 2016. A logistic regression model was fitted to examine the association of age, sex, primary diagnosis, and the length of hospital stay with probability of opioid prescription.

RESULTS: 36,560 patients aged 0-21 years (mean: 10.5, median: 11.0, and standard deviation (SD): 7.42) received analgesic pain medications. 21,847 (59.8 percent) patients were prescribed more than one analgesic. There was a male predominance in patients <15 years of age; however, in adolescents >16 years, females constituted 57.1 percent of patients. Data also showed a statistically significant reduction of opioid prescriptions from 2012 to 2016 (p < 0.001). Age and length of hospital stay were directly associated with opioid prescription (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Data show that there is a decrease in overall opioid prescriptions among pediatric patients, which may be secondary to new Food and Drug Administration regulations and increased awareness of morbidity associated with opioid use. Not surprisingly, increased hospital stay and increase in age lead to more analgesic prescriptions. Further investigation is needed to determine the differences within opioid prescription patterns.

PMID:38189190 | DOI:10.5055/jom.0833

By Nevin Manimala

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