During long-term opioid therapy for chronic, non-cancer pain, monitoring medication adherence of patients with a history of aberrant opioid medication-taking behaviors (AMTB) is an essential practice. There is limited research, however, into the concordance among existing monitoring tools of self-report, physician report and bio-fluid screening. The current study examined associations among patient and provider assessments of AMTB and urine drug screening using data from a randomized trial of a cognitive-behavioral intervention designed to improve medication adherence and pain-related outcomes among 110 opioid-treated, chronic pain patients who screened positive for AMTB and were enrolled in a pain program. Providers completed the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and patients completed the Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM) and the Chemical Coping Inventory (CCI). In multivariate analyses, ABC scores were compared to COMM and CCI scores, while controlling for demographics and established risk factors for AMTB, such as pain severity. Based on clinical cutoffs, 84% of patients reported clinically significant levels of AMTB and providers rated 36% of patients at elevated levels. Provider reports of AMTB were not correlated with COMM or CCI scores. However, the ABC ratings of experienced providers (nurse practitioners/attending physicians) were higher than those of less experienced providers (fellows) and were correlated with CCI scores and risk factors for AMTB. Associations between patient- and provider-reported AMTB and urine drug screening results were low and largely non-significant. In conclusion, concordance between patient and provider reports of AMTB among chronic pain patients prescribed opioid medication varied by provider level of training.
Patient versus provider reports of aberrant medication-taking behavior among opioid-treated chronic pain patients who report misusing opioid medication
Pain, 157 (8), 1791-1798. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000583. PMCID: PMC4949142.