Benzodiazepine use in patients with chronic pain in an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program

Julie L. Cunningham, Julia R. Craner, Michele M. Evans, W. Michael Hooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: In the context of widespread opioid use, increased emphasis has been placed on the potentially deleterious effects of concurrent benzodiazepine (BZD) and opioid use. Although use of opioids in chronic pain has been a major focus, BZD use is equally concerning. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to determine the associations between BZD and opioid use in adults with chronic pain upon admission to an outpatient interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation (IPR) program. Methods: The study cohort involved 847 consecutive patients admitted to a 3-week outpatient IPR program from January 2013 through December 2014. Study variables included baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and the pain severity subscale of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory. Results: Upon admission, 248 (29%) patients were taking BZDs. Patients using BZDs were significantly more likely to use opioids and to be female. Additionally, patients using BZDs had significantly greater depression, pain catastrophizing, and pain severity scores. In univariable logistic regression analysis, opioid use, female sex, and greater scores of depression, pain catastrophizing, and pain severity were significantly associated with BZD use. In multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, pain duration, opioid use, depression, pain catastrophizing, and pain severity, only female sex and greater depression scores were significantly associated with BZD use. Discussion: Among patients participating in an outpatient IPR program, female sex and greater depression scores were associated with BZD use. Results identify a high prevalence of BZD use in patients with chronic pain and reinforce the need to weigh the risks versus benefits when prescribing in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 9 2017

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Keywords

  • Benzodiazepine
  • Chronic pain
  • Opioid
  • Pain rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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