Some patients who are given opioids for pain could develop opioid use disorder. If it was possible to identify patients who are at a higher risk of opioid use disorder, then clinicians could spend more time educating these patients about the risks. We develop and validate a model to predict a person’s future risk of opioid use disorder at the point before being dispensed their first opioid.
A cohort study patient-level prediction using four US claims databases with target populations ranging between 343,552 and 384,424 patients. The outcome was recorded diagnosis of opioid abuse, dependency or unspecified drug abuse as a proxy for opioid use disorder from 1 day until 365 days after the first opioid is dispensed. We trained a regularized logistic regression using candidate predictors consisting of demographics and any conditions, drugs, procedures or visits prior to the first opioid. We then selected the top predictors and created a simple 8 variable score model.
We estimated the percentage of new users of opioids with reported opioid use disorder within a year to range between 0.04%-0.26% across US claims data. We developed an 8 variable Calculator of Risk for Opioid Use Disorder (CROUD) score, derived from the prediction models to stratify patients into higher and lower risk groups. The 8 baseline variables were age 15-29, medical history of substance abuse, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, low back pain, renal impairment, painful neuropathy and recent ER visit. 1.8% of people were in the high risk group for opioid use disorder and had a score > = 23 with the model obtaining a sensitivity of 13%, specificity of 98% and PPV of 1.14% for predicting opioid use disorder.
CROUD could be used by clinicians to obtain personalized risk scores. CROUD could be used to further educate those at higher risk and to personalize new opioid dispensing guidelines such as urine testing. Due to the high false positive rate, it should not be used for contraindication or to restrict utilization.