Content » Vol 48, Issue 5

Original report

Long-term opioid use after discharge from inpatient musculoskeletal rehabilitation

Andréa D. Furlan, Samah Hassan, Ida-Maisie Famiyeh, Wendy Wang, Jaspreet Dhanju
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute- UHN, 550 University Avenue, Room 7-141-1, Toronto ON, M5G 2A2, Canada. E-mail:,
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2080


Objective: To determine: (i) the prevalence of opioid-naïve patients discharged on opioids from a musculoskeletal rehabilitation inpatient unit; (ii) the prevalence of opioid use 6 months after discharge; and (iii) the efficacy of the Opioid Risk Tool in identifying long-term opioid use.
Design: Prospective study.
Participants: Sixty-four opioid-naïve patients who were exposed to opioids during admission and who were discharged on an opioid.
Methods: Potentially eligible patients’ charts were reviewed. Participants were interviewed during admission to obtain the opioid risk score and contacted 6 months after discharge via a semi-structured telephone interview.
Results: Twenty-eight percent of opioid-naïve patients, who were discharged on opioids were still using opioids 6 months after discharge from rehabilitation. There was a trend for higher Opioid Risk Tool scores in those still using opioids than in individuals who were not using opioids at 6 months (p = 0.053).
Conclusion: Patients who are prescribed opioids during a hospital admission should be screened for risk of opioid misuse. This data suggests that the Opioid Risk Tool could identify a patient’s potential for becoming a long-term user of opioids.

Lay Abstract


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