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Cornea and External Disease
Oculoplastics

Study looks at interspecialty opioid prescribing patterns in ophthalmology

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Subspecialty, demographic, chronological, and regional trends exist for opioid prescribing patterns in ophthalmology, according to findings from a recent study. Oculoplastics, pediatrics, and neuro-ophthalmology were predicted to have significantly greater opioid beneficiaries, the researchers reported.

While studies have looked at opioid prescription trends in ophthalmology overall, few have evaluated differences between subspecialties. With this recent study, the researchers looked for significant trends among subspecialties in opioid prescribing patterns and the potential over-usage of opioids in ophthalmology that could compromise patient quality of life. Medicare data and “National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) Downloadable File” were used for cases of ophthalmologists with non-suppressed opioid prescription data from 2014 to 2019. (Ophthalmologists with no subspecialty code or missing regional, gender, degree, or graduation information were excluded.) Chi-squared analysis, analysis of variance, t-tests, and multivariate logistic regression were used.

The analysis included 5,143 physician records, 450 of which were by cornea subspecialists. Most cornea case participants were male, graduated before 2005, and practiced in the South. All subspecialties had a significantly increased likelihood of making opioid claims and higher prescription rates compared with cornea (P < 0.050) besides glaucoma (P = 0.357). Only oculoplastics had significantly increased likelihood of greater total supply of opioids compared with cornea (odds ratio [OR] = 22.195, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.209-40.350, P < 0.001), while pediatrics (OR = 4.036, 95% CI = 1.377-11.831, P = 0.011) and neuro-ophthalmology (OR = 4.158, 95% CI = 1.237-13.975, P = 0.021) in addition to oculoplastics (OR = 64.380, 95% CI = 26.306-157.560, P < 0.001) were predicted to have significantly greater opioid beneficiaries. Males, the South/Midwest, and graduating before 2005, all were generally associated with an increased likelihood of greater total opioid claims, supply, beneficiaries, and prescription rate (P < 0.050).

Reference
Choudhry HS, Patel AM, Zhu A, et al. Interspecialty opioid prescribing patterns in ophthalmology following declaration of a public health emergency. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. Published online October 25, 2023. doi:10.1089/jop.2023.0078

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