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Opioid administration trends among long-stay community living centers residents with dementia.

Wang H, Cai S, Caprio T, Goulet J, Intrator O. Opioid administration trends among long-stay community living centers residents with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2022 Aug 1; 70(8):2393-2403.

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BACKGROUND: Pain assessment and management of Veterans with Alzheimer''s disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) living in Community Living Centers (CLCs) is challenging. Safe and effective use of opioids in the treatment of pain is of great concern to patients and providers promulgating national policies and guidelines. METHODS: This study examined long-stay CLC Veterans with ADRD identified in three regulatory periods (period 1: 10/2012-6/2013, n  = 3347; period 2: 1/2014-11/2015, n  = 4426; period 3: 1/2017-9/2018, n  = 4444; Total N  = 12,217).This population-based observational study used CLC Minimum Data Set (MDS) data in Fiscal Years (FYs) 2013-2018 and VA bar-code medication administration (BCMA) data. Opioid administration measures included: any opioids, long-term opioids, high-dose opioids, and co-administration with benzodiazepine. Measures were modeled using negative binomial regression with length of stay in CLC as offset adjusting for Veteran predisposing, enabling and need measures from the MDS. RESULTS: Compared to period 1, any opioid administration was 26% lower in period 2, and 34% lower in period 3. Among Veterans who received any opioid medications over the three regulatory periods, high-dose and long-term opioid administration were more than 40% lower in periods 2 and 3 compared to period 1. Co-administration of opioid with benzodiazepine versus no opioid was 11% lower in period 2 and 34% lower in period 3 after adjusting for patient level covariates. CONCLUSIONS: All patterns of opioid administration decreased over the four opioid regulations periods when guidelines were promulgated across the VA health system. Further research should clarify whether decreasing opioids among patients with ADRD impacted health outcomes.

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