• An international study of analgesic dependence among people with pain in the general population

      Omimah, Said; Elander, James; Maratos, Frances A.; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-26)
      Overuse of and dependence on analgesics (including opioids and other pain medications) are major international public health problems. To identify influences on analgesic dependence among analgesic users in the general populations of different countries. Online surveys of 1,283 people with pain in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, Egypt and China/Macau/Hong Kong. Levels of analgesic overuse and dependence were highest in Egypt and lowest in China/Macau/Hong Kong. In every country except Egypt, frequency of pain and frequency of analgesic use were correlated with analgesic dependence, and scores on the Need subscale of the Pain Medication Attitudes Questionnaire (PMAQ; McCracken et al., 2006) independently predicted analgesic dependence. In the UK, USA, Australia and Germany, frequency of analgesic use mediated the effects of pain frequency or intensity, and Need scores mediated the effects of frequency of analgesic use. In Egypt, more recent pain, analgesic overuse, and the Emotion and Solicitude subscales of the Survey of Pain Attitudes (SOPA) independently predicted analgesic dependence. Across multiple countries, the impact of pain on analgesic dependence was mediated by frequency of analgesic use rather than overuse or abuse, and self-reported need for analgesics was the strongest independent predictor of dependence. Asking people directly about their feelings of needing analgesics could therefore identify those who could be helped to use analgesics less frequently, which should reduce their risk of dependence.