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Brunkow A, Cannon M, Graff FS, Martin JL, Hausmann LRM, McAndrew LM. Doctor Recommendations are Related to Patient Interest and Use of Behavioral Treatment for Chronic Pain and Addiction. The journal of pain. 2020 Sep 1; 21(9-10):979-987.
The opioid crisis has highlighted the importance of improving patients' access to behavioral treatments for chronic pain and addiction. What is not known is if patients are interested in receiving these treatments. In this cross-sectional study, over 1,000 participants with chronic pain were surveyed using an anonymous online questionnaire on Amazon Mechanical Turk to investigate participants' use of and interest in pharmacological and behavioral treatments for chronic pain and addiction. Participants also indicated whether their doctor had recommended these treatments. The majority of participants reported using medication for their pain (83.19%) and that their doctor recommended medication (85.05%), whereas fewer participants reported using (67.45%) and being recommended to (62.82%) behavioral treatments. We found 63.67% of participants screened positive for possible opioid misuse; those who screened positive were more interested in receiving behavioral treatments than those who did not screen positive. Participants who received treatment recommendations were more likely to be interested in receiving those treatments as compared to participants who did not. The results suggest that recommendations for behavioral treatments and interest in those treatments are related. Results also suggest that patients endorsing behaviors consistent with opioid misuse are interested in behavioral treatments. PERSPECTIVE: This study provides information around chronic pain patients' treatment interests, treatment receipt, and recommendation receipt for behavioral pain management and addiction treatment. This study could help facilitate communication between patients and doctors regarding available treatments for chronic pain and pain treatment-related addiction problems.