Background Opioid use is an escalating issue in Australia, with an urgent need to understand the patterns of dispensing following trauma, to address preventable morbidity and mortality related harms.
Aims This study aims to link inpatient hospitalisation data with opioid dispensing data to examine the distribution and predictive factors associated with high or prolonged community opioid dispensing among adults, for two years following an injury-related hospital admission.
Methods Coded hospital administrative data was linked to the Queensland Monitoring of Drugs Dependence System (MODDS). Adults admitted to Queensland hospitals between 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2015 for an injury were identified through Queensland Hospital Admitted Patient Data Collection (QHAPDC). Patients were linked to MODDS data, and mortality data from the Queensland Deaths Registry for a 2year follow-up period, and 3-month pre-injury period. MODDS collects all controlled (Schedule 8) drug information, which includes all public and private prescriptions, dispensed at community pharmacies.
Results The final dataset included 143,463 Queensland residents who survived their injury-related admission, linked to 715,799 MODDS records in the study period. Of the injured cohort, 42.6% had at least one opioid record, 11% had a record in the 3-months prior to the injury event and 2,275 (1.6%) were registered as drug dependent or on an opioid management program. Opioid dispensing in this cohort will be assessed in terms of total oral morphine equivalent, average daily dose and prescription time, by injury type and mechanism.
Conclusion Little is known about community opioid dispensing following trauma in Queensland. This is the first study to link hospital administrative data with comprehensive opioid data. This novel linkage will enable analysis and monitoring of opioid dispensing following injury, that could facilitate and support development of appropriate policy criteria to guide regulatory intervention and prevention strategies.
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