Incidence and Health Related Quality of Life of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Chronic Noncancer Pain Patients: A Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study

Dalila R Veiga, Liliane Mendonça, Rute Sampaio, José C Lopes, Luís F Azevedo
Pain Research and Treatment 2018, 2018: 5704627

Background: High rates of opioid use for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) have been reported worldwide, despite its association with adverse events, inappropriate use, and limited analgesic effect. Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is the most prevalent and disabling adverse effect associated with opioid therapy. Our aim was to assess the incidence, health related quality of life (HRQOL), and disability in OIC patients.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was performed, with 6 months of follow-up, of adult CNCP patients consecutively admitted in 4 multidisciplinary pain clinics (MPC). Demographic and clinical data have been collected. Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Short version of Treatment Outcomes in Pain Survey (S-TOPS) were used to measure functional outcomes and HRQOL. OIC was assessed using Bowel Function Index (BFI).

Results: 694 patients were recruited. OIC prevalence at baseline was 25.8%. At 6 months, OIC incidence was 24.8%. Female gender (OR = 1.65, p = 0.039), opioid therapy (OR 1.65, p = 0.026), and interference pain score on BPI (OR 1.10, p = 0.009) were identified as OIC independent predictors. OIC patients presented higher disability and pain interference and severity scores. OIC patients reported less satisfaction with outcome ( p = 0.038).

Discussion: Constipation is a common adverse event among opioid users with major functional and quality of life impairment. These findings emphasise the need of OIC adequate assessment and management.

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