Engagement in Prescription Opioid Tapering Research: the EMPOWER Study and a Coproduction Model of Success
Patients with chronic pain experience stigma within the healthcare system. This stigma is compounded for those taking long-term prescription opioids. Often, public messaging and organizational policies have telegraphed that opioid treatment is a problem to be solved by focusing only on medication reduction efforts. Lack of data has contributed to misperceptions and poor opioid policies. In part, data collection remains poor because patients feel fractured from systems of care and are often not interested in engaging with opioid reduction mandates and research. Similarly, clinicians may fail to engage with opioid stewardship and research due to complexities that exceed their training or capacities. The EMPOWER study applies a coproduction model that engages researchers, patients, clinicians, managers, and other health system users. Key stakeholders shaped the design of the study to best ensure acceptability and engagement of the “end users”-patients who enroll in the study and the clinicians who implement the opioid tapers. Targeting the needs of any stakeholder group in isolation is suboptimal. Accordingly, we detail the EMPOWER patient-centered opioid tapering clinical research framework and specific strategies to address stakeholder concerns. We also discuss how this framework may be applied to enhance engagement in healthcare research broadly.
Mardian, A., Perez, L., Pun, T., Cheung, M., Porter, J., De Bruyne, K., . . . Darnall, B. D. (2021). Engagement in Prescription Opioid Tapering Research: the EMPOWER Study and a Coproduction Model of Success. J Gen Intern Med. doi:10.1007/s11606-021-07085-w