Factors that influence discharge opioid prescribing among bariatric surgeons across Michigan

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American journal of surgery


BACKGROUND: Opioid prescribing following bariatric surgery has been a focus due to its association with new persistent opioid use (NPOU) and worse outcomes. Guidelines have led to a reduction in opioids prescribed, but there remains variation in prescribing practices.

METHODS: We conducted interviews with 20 bariatric surgeons across Michigan. Transcripts were analyzed using descriptive content analysis.

RESULTS: At the patient level, surgeons described the role of surgical history and pain tolerance. At the provider level, surgeons discussed patient dissatisfaction, reputation, and workload. At the institution level, surgeons discussed colleagues, resources, and administration. At a collaborative level, surgeons described the role of evidence and performance measures. There was lack of consensus on whether NPOU is a problem facing patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

CONCLUSION: Despite efforts aimed at addressing opioid prescribing, variability exists in prescribing practices. Understanding determinants that impact stakeholder alignment is critical to increasing adherence to guideline-concordant care.

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ePub ahead of print