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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 18

BMJ Open



Feasibility study of a Behavioural Intervention for Opioid Reduction (BIOR) for patients with chronic non-cancer pain in primary care: a protocol.


Poole HM, Frank B, Begley E, Woods A, Ramos-Silva A, Merriman M, McCulough R, Montgomery C
BMJ Open. 2023 Jan 18; 13(1):e065646.
PMID: 36657771.


Around 30%-50% of adults suffer moderate to severe chronic pain not caused by cancer. Significant numbers are treated with opioids which over time may cease to be effective and produce side effects (eg, nausea, drowsiness and constipation). Stopping taking opioids abruptly can cause unpleasant withdrawal effects. Tapering in small steps is recommended, though some patients might struggle and need support, particularly if they have limited access to pain management alternatives. Awareness of the potential risks as well as benefits of tapering should be explored with patients.