Last updated on May 2019

Reducing Opioid Use for Chronic Pain Patients Following Surgery


Brief description of study

Patients with chronic pain are often prescribed long-term opioid therapy, despite the serious risks and growing concerns related to opioid use. The Toronto General Hospital has created the world's first multidisciplinary perioperative Transitional Pain Service Program (TPSP) aimed at reducing the incidence and severity of chronic post-surgical pain. The TPSP incorporates a variety of mechanisms and interventions to help patients manage pain and to wean off opioids. The approach consists of: pain education, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and an e-mobile self- management tool to help patients manage chronic pain more effectively. With the TPSP team, the investigators hope to continually assist patients to achieve a balance between the benefits and potential harms of opioid use to promote long-term health and well-being.

Detailed Study Description

The proposed research program encompasses several study designs to evaluate the effectiveness and potential implementation of the TPSP across Ontario. The investigators will use three approaches to create a comprehensive evidence-base that can be used to guide future policy and programs related to the management of surgical patients with complex pain and chronic opioid use. In the first phase, a multicenter randomized controlled trial will be conducted in 5 hospital sites to evaluate the effectiveness and potential implementation of TPSP across Ontario. The aim is to recruit a total of 210 patients who are currently taking opioids and also undergoing a surgical intervention (e.g., spinal fusion, hip or knee arthroplasty, major cardiac surgery, hysterectomy, colectomy, cholecystectomy, major vascular surgery, hernia repairs, bariatric surgery, and thyroidectomies). The randomized controlled trial will determine the effectiveness of the TPSP at weaning patients completely off opioids while still managing pain after one year. Secondly, an economic and healthcare utilization analysis of the program via linkage to provincial administrative databases will be carried out to understand the impact the TPSP program has on the healthcare system as a whole. Lastly, a qualitative study will be conducted on both the treatment and control groups. The investigators hope to capture further insight to understand patients and providers experiences of the TPSP intervention.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03675386

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