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Clinicians' Attitudes and Beliefs About Opioids Survey (CAOS): Instrument Development and Results of a National Physician Survey

Hilary D. Wilson, Elizabeth J. Dansie, Myoung S. Kim, Bruce L. Moskovitz, Wing Chow, Dennis C. Turk

The Journal of Pain, Volume 14, Issue 6, June 2013, p613-627 


Beliefs surrounding the use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain have vacillated over time. Concerns regarding long-term efficacy and adverse effects of opioids, along with increases in opioid prescribing, have contributed to many political, regulatory, and clinical responses. The present study was designed to (1) develop a reliable and valid measure (Clinicians' Attitudes about Opioids Scale [CAOS]) to assess current and evolving beliefs regarding opioids and opioid use in patients with chronic pain; and (2) survey these beliefs in a nationally representative sample of providers from multiple medical specialties throughout the United States. We developed the questionnaire in 3 phases: (1) focus groups and content development; (2) pilot testing and subsequent revisions; and (3) formal survey (N = 1,535) and assessment of stability (N = 251). The resulting 38-item measure assessed 5 domains: (1) Impediments and Concerns; (2) Perceived Effectiveness; (3) Schedule II versus III Opioids; (4) Medical Education; and (5) Tamper Resistant Formulations. No significant differences were identified among geographical regions; however, several differences were observed among medical specialties. Orthopedists were most troubled by impediments/concerns from long-term opioid use and had the least confidence in opioid efficacy, whereas Pain Medicine specialists and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialists were the most confident in efficacy.

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