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Opioid Analgesics Prescription to End-of-Life Cancer Patients: Characteristics, Attitudes, and Practices of French General Practitioners

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Pain management, especially at the end of life, varies depending on the prescriber's characteristics and attitudes. Little is known about the practices of general practitioners (GPs) regarding end-of-life management for patients with cancer. OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of the characteristics associated with GPs' attitudes and practices regarding opioids prescribing and to explore GPs' perceived role and difficulties in managing end-of-life care for patients with cancer. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study (December 2015 to March 2016). Subjects and Analyses: Data were collected from a representative sample of 376 GPs in southeastern France recruited to participate in a survey on medical practices and opinions regarding cancer patient management. Descriptive analyses and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to study the characteristics, attitudes, and practices associated with GPs' opioids prescribing attitudes. RESULTS: Almost 97% of GPs stated that they prescribe opioids to end-of-life cancer patients. Among these, 77% said that they prescribe opioids on their own initiative, while 23% declared doing so in coordination with a specialist team. Female GPs, GPs working in solo practices, and GPs reporting more difficulties in managing end-of-life cancer patients were significantly less likely to prescribe opioids on their own initiative. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that GPs' characteristics and practices influence the prescribing attitudes at the end of life. Given the dearth of studies on this topic, further research is recommended to better understand the impact of GPs' characteristics on their prescriptive attitudes. The possible interactions between patients' and physicians' characteristics-in particular gender-should also be investigated.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 10:57:39 AM
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Asmaa Janah, Dominique Rey, Anne-Déborah Bouhnik, Julien Mancini, Aline Sarradon-Eck, et al.. Opioid Analgesics Prescription to End-of-Life Cancer Patients: Characteristics, Attitudes, and Practices of French General Practitioners. Journal of Palliative Medicine, Mary Ann Liebert, 2018, 21 (12), pp.1741-1748. ⟨10.1089/jpm.2018.0222⟩. ⟨inserm-02093734⟩



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