SSW News

New SSW/UMB Research in JAMA Shows Extent of Opioid Issues in Hospice Care

February 13, 2020    |  

SSW Associate Professors John Cagle, PhD, and Jodi Frey, PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Paul Sacco, PhD, and PhD student Orrin Ware, MSW, MPH, are authors of new research that has been published as a Research Letter in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association). JAMA is one of the world's leading medical research journals."

"Estimates of Medication Diversion in Hospice" found that 31% of hospices reported at least 1 confirmed instance of medication diversion in the past 90 days; smaller agencies reported much higher rates of diversion per patient compared with medium and large hospices. Diversion rates were also associated with agencies that provide the majority of care at home. Given the challenges of symptom management during hospice care, patients require responsive opioid prescribing. Within the context of the national opioid crisis, medication diversion in hospice is an increasing concern.

Additional co-authors include Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD (UMB School of Pharmacy), the late Debra Wiegland, PhD (UMB School of Nursing), and Jack Guralnik, PhD (UMB School of Medicine).

As a companion to the Research Letter, Cagle and Ware are also authors of the white paper 15 Recommendations for Preventing Medication Diversion & Misuse in Hospice Care that has been distributed to the top 15 hospice providers in the country as well as to the nearly 400 agencies that participated in the initial survey.