Some opioid users are known to have a high prevalence of chronic pain as well as other physical and mental health problems. However, data remain limited on the pain experience of active skin injecting opioid users. The aims of this descriptive study were twofold: (1) to examine the overall prevalence of moderate to severe chronic pain (MSCP) as well as other health and pain characteristics of skin injecting opioid users who seek hospital care for treatment of a painful skin abscess related to injecting drugs, and; (2) to identify potential predictors of MSCP, including demographics, acute pain intensity, physical and mental health, and pain treatment characteristics. An urban sample of 91 adult English speaking patients was interviewed in an abscess treatment clinic at a large medical university. MSCP was defined as pain that was experienced within the last week, had persisted for more than 6 months, and was of moderate to severe intensity or interference. Any chronic pain within the last week was reported by 73% of patients and MSCP by 67%. Fifty-percent of all patients reported psychiatric diseases, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. There were no characteristics under study that significantly predicted MSCP in this sample. However, this sample of skin-injecting opioid users was found to report extremely high rates of moderate to severe chronic pain as well as high levels of physical and psychiatric disease. Future research is warranted to investigate approaches aimed at achieving optimal, safe pain relief for this very vulnerable population.
|Commitee:||Compton, Peggy, Neighbor, Martha, Weiss, Sandra|
|School:||University of California, San Francisco|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Chronic pain, Drug addiction, Injecting drug users, Opioid users|
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