Dr. Narinder Grewal Discusses the Testing of Opioid Risk Tools

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(Newswire.net — August 30, 2016) Valencia, CA — Statistics shows that about 42% of emergency department (ED) visits are related to pain. Patients who suffer from lower back pain and pain caused by kidney stones are traditionally prescribed with opioids, even though non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been proven to be just as effective for managing their pain. And although opioids have been a standard treatment for pain syndromes for a long time now, there is still a huge risk associated with it: patients easily get addicted to these medications without realizing it. For this reason, researchers have been looking for a way to reduce the risk for opioid abuse. 

According to reputable anesthesiologist Narinder Grewal MD, a team of researchers is now testing two new opioid risk tools that examine the risks of opioid use with ED patients who need pain treatment. The first one is a questionnaire that provides patients with a visual scale of their opioid abuse risk, whether low, medium or high, and a video narrative from patients who became dependent on opioids after having been prescribed with them in their visit to the ED. The researchers are from Northwell Health, the largest health care provider in New York, and will evaluate the effectiveness of the new tools. It is funded by independent non-profit, non-governmental organization Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which will provide Northwell Health with $350,000 over three years.

A few risk factors for potential opioid dependency have already been recognized, such as patient or family history of substance abuse. Still, knowing which individuals will end up abusing opioids remains to be difficult a task, says the researchers. 

“Narrative communication can be an easily scalable, low-cost, sustainable method for disseminating and promoting patient engagement around health information,” states Dr. Karin Rhodes, Vice President of Care Management Design and Evaluation in the Office of Population Health Management at Northwell Health. Dr. Rhodes’ team will collaborate with researchers from University of Pennsylvania as well as the Mayo Clinic to determine the efficacy of the new tools. 

1200 patients will be enrolled (400 at each institution) and they will be given the opioid risk tool questionnaire during their ED visit. Some of them will also be randomly assigned to watch the video narrative. The study hypothesis, as supported by the research team’s pilot data, is that patients exposed to the narrative video will take less doses of opioid for fewer days without feeling an increase in pain.

“We want to see whether people who understand the risk, and in particular their risk, will be less likely to choose an opioid as a pain reliever. We want to balance good pain management with engaging the patient in informed decision making, to help them opt for the best choice of therapy for them,” Dr. Rhodes said.

Medication decisions made in the ED can have a considerable impact on patients after they get discharged. Dr. Grewal believes that patients must be informed about the risks of opioid use.

 To learn more, visit https://www.zocdoc.com/doctor/narinder-grewal-md.

About Advanced Pain Management, Narinder Grewal, MD

Narinder Grewal MD is a notable board-certified anesthesiologist with 40 years of experience in the field. He runs his own pain clinic in Valencia, California, Advanced Pain Management, and is affiliated with the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

Advanced Pain Management, Narinder Grewal, MD

23861 Mcbean Pkwy
Valencia, CA 91355
United States
(661) 288-5700