Association of Patients' Familiarity and Perceptions of Efficacy and Risks with the Use of Opioid Medications in the Management of Osteoarthritis

Ernest R. Vina, Cristian Quinones, Leslie R.M. Hausmann, Said A. Ibrahim, C. Kent Kwoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective. While opioids are known to cause unintended adverse effects, they are being utilized by a number of patients with osteoarthritis (OA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of patient familiarity and perceptions regarding efficacy and risks with opioid medication use for OA. Methods. A total of 362 adults with knee and/or hip OA were surveyed in this cross-sectional study. Patients' familiarity with and perceptions of benefits/risks of opioid medications were measured to evaluate potential associations with the utilization of opioid medications for OA within the last 6 months. Logistic regression models were adjusted for sociodemographic and clinical variables. Results. In this sample, 28.7% (100/349) reported use of an opioid medication for OA-related symptoms in the last 6 months. Those who were on an opioid medication, compared to those who were not, were younger (mean age 62.5 vs 64.8 yrs), were more likely to have a high school education or lower (48.0% vs 35.3%), and had higher mean depression (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ]-8 7.2 vs 4.9) and OA-related pain (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index [WOMAC] 54.8 vs 46.8) scores. After adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical variables, the following were associated with opioid medication use: higher perception of medication benefit (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.18-2.41), lower perception of medication risk (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.51-0.88), and having family or friends who received the medication for OA (OR 3.88, 95% CI 1.88-8.02). Conclusion. Among adults with knee/hip OA, opioid use was associated with being familiar with the treatment, as well as believing that the medication was beneficial and low-risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1863-1870
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Familiarity
  • Opioids
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Perceptions
  • Treatment utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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