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How Physician Self-Perceptions Affect the Impact of Peer Comparison Feedback on Opioid Prescribing.

Liao JM, Sun C, Yan XS, Patel MS, Small DS, Isenberg WM, Landa HM, Bond BL, Rareshide CAL, Volpp KG, Delgado MK, Lei VJ, Shen Z, Navathe AS. How Physician Self-Perceptions Affect the Impact of Peer Comparison Feedback on Opioid Prescribing. American journal of medical quality : the official journal of the American College of Medical Quality. 2023 May 1; 38(3):129-136.

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Peer comparison feedback is a promising strategy for reducing opioid prescribing and opioid-related harms. Such comparisons may be particularly impactful among underestimating clinicians who do not perceive themselves as high prescribers relative to their peers. But peer comparisons could also unintentionally increase prescribing among overestimating clinicians who do not perceive themselves as lower prescribers than peers. The objective of this study was to assess if the impact of peer comparisons varied by clinicians'' preexisting opioid prescribing self-perceptions. Subgroup analysis of a randomized trial of peer comparison interventions among emergency department and urgent care clinicians was used. Generalized mixed-effects models were used to assess whether the impact of peer comparisons, alone or combined with individual feedback, varied by underestimating or overestimating prescriber status. Underestimating and overestimating prescribers were defined as those who self-reported relative prescribing amounts that were lower and higher, respectively, than actual relative baseline amounts. The primary outcome was pills per opioid prescription. Among 438 clinicians, 54% (n = 236) provided baseline prescribing self-perceptions and were included in this analysis. Overall, 17% (n = 40) were underestimating prescribers whereas 5% (n = 11) were overestimating prescribers. Underestimating prescribers exhibited a differentially greater decrease in pills per prescription compared to nonunderestimating clinicians when receiving peer comparison feedback (1.7 pills, 95% CI, -3.2 to -0.2 pills) or combined peer and individual feedback (2.8 pills, 95% CI, -4.8 to -0.8 pills). In contrast, there were no differential changes in pills per prescription for overestimating versus nonoverestimating prescribers after receiving peer comparison (1.5 pills, 95% CI, -0.9 to 3.9 pills) or combined peer and individual feedback (3.0 pills, 95% CI, -0.3 to 6.2 pills). Peer comparisons were more impactful among clinicians who underestimated their prescribing compared to peers. By correcting inaccurate self-perceptions, peer comparison feedback can be an effective strategy for influencing opioid prescribing.

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