University of Virginia (UVA) Reduces Opioid Use While Improving Patients’ Pain Scores: Study

February 9th, 2017

While most prescriber interventions addressing the opioid epidemic have focused on the treatment of chronic pain, more recently focus has been placed on the clinical setting in which some of the opioid misuse begins – in the post-surgical period. This article discusses a study in which UVA anesthesiologists reviewed 101,484 surgeries between March 2011 and November 2015 where patients received general anesthesia. During that timeframe, the average amount of opioids given per surgery at UVA declined 37 percent. At the same time, surgical patients’ self-rated average pain score on a 0-to-10 scale in a post-surgery recovery unit declined from 5.5 to 3.8 – a 31 percent improvement.

Study Overview

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A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.