Background The current opioid epidemic in the US highlights the need to develop innovative and effective approaches to communicate with patients about options for pain management and the risks of opioid pain relievers (OPRs). The aim of this study is to pilot test an m-health program, My Healthy Choices, with patients visiting the emergency department (ED) for effect on pain-management decision making. The program pairs theory-based education with a patient decision aid to describe what opioid and non-opioid pain medications are, assess the patient’s personal and environmental risk factors for taking opioids, and produce a tailored report that patients are encouraged to share with their provider.
Methods A total of 144 patients presenting to EDs in Baltimore, Maryland and Morgantown, West Virginia with a pain-related chief complaint are being enrolled. Prior to seeing the provider participants are randomised to either the My Healthy Choices program (IG) or a time-matched health risk assessment (CG). All participants complete a baseline assessment following triage, a post-test at discharge, and a six-week follow up survey. Primary outcome measures are the patient’s preference for an opioid or non-opioid, satisfaction with their decision-making, and their knowledge of risks and benefits. Secondary outcomes include medication use, storage, and disposal practices.
Results To date, n=87 patients have been enrolled and 26 have completed follow-up. On average, patients are 35 years old (Â±13.5), female (55%), black (49%), with at least a high school diploma (96%). Preliminary analyses suggest that compared to the CG, IG patients have greater reduction in decisional conflict (21.6 vs 8.0; p<0.05). Additional analyses for the full study sample and from the follow-up survey on knowledge, satisfaction and medication use, storage, and disposal will be presented.
Conclusions/Significance M-health interventions hold promise for assessing and informing ED patients about the risks and benefits of pain management options.
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