A Pilot Study to determine the Utility and Feasibility of a Medication Assessment Questionnaire for Opioid and Benzodiazepine Usage in Chronic Non-Malignant Pain Patients

Objectives

Prescribed opioids are a viable alternative for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain (CNMP). However, a subsample of chronic pain patients are at increased risk for opiate and benzodiazepine (BDZ) addiction. At present, no standardized assessment tool exists to assess CNMP patients for opioid or BDZ dependency.  The medication assessment questionnaire (MAQ) was developed to determine its feasibility in assessing opioid and benzodiazepine usage in CNMP patients.

Setting

A Canadian 400 bed teaching institution.

Design

CNMP patients admitted to St. Paul’s Hospital Pain Center Day Program from September 2001 – March 2002 were included in the study. A MAQ was developed to assess nine domains. The pharmacist conducted the MAQ with each patient and the Pharmanet profile was compared to self-reported usage of opioid and BDZ. The resultant database was analyzed to evaluate the MAQ.

Results

29 patients were included in the study. Four possible sources of errors in the MAQ were identified. Magnitude of missing data was <10%. 21% of questions had no variance. The reliability of the MAQ was assessed using Cronbach’s Alpha. In 7/9 domains assessed, Cronbach’s alpha was < 0.70.

Conclusions

Modifications to the MAQ are required to improve the credibility, response variability and reliability of the tool in the assessment of opioid and BDZ usage in CNMP patients.

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