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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Dec 2019 - 13 Dec 2019

Human Studies

2020 Apr 28

Scand J Pain



An observational study on risk factors for prolonged opioid prescription after severe trauma.


Åström J, Lidén Y, Wicksell RK, Wincent A, Sjölund K-F
Scand J Pain. 2020 Apr 28; 20(2):345-351.
PMID: 31811813.


Trauma is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in people of working age. Following surgery, approximately 10% of patients develop persistent postsurgical pain. Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that can adversely affect quality of life and is associated with psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression. Pharmacological treatment is normally insufficient to fully alleviate chronic pain and improve functional capacity, especially in the long term. The appropriateness of opioid treatment in chronic non-cancer pain has become increasingly examined with high numbers of serious side effects including drug dependency and death. The present study was based on clinical observations suggesting that a problematic opioid use can be initiated during trauma care, which implies the importance of evaluating opioid therapy and its effect on trauma patients. Specific attention is given to patients with known psychiatric conditions which may render them more vulnerable to develop problematic opioid use. The aim of this observational study was to broadly characterize patients referred to a pain specialist after severe trauma regarding their trauma type, psychiatric co-morbidity, and opioid prescription pattern. This was done to tentatively investigate possible risk factors for long-term opioid use following trauma.