UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


New Initiation of Long-Acting Opioids in Long-Stay Nursing Home Residents

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Chemicals and Drugs | Geriatrics | Health Services Administration


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of new initiation of long-acting opioids since introduction of national efforts to increase prescriber and public awareness on safe use of transdermal fentanyl patches.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional.

SETTING: U.S. nursing homes (NHs).

PARTICIPANTS: Medicare-enrolled long-stay NH residents (N = 22,253).

MEASUREMENTS: Minimum Data Set 3.0 was linked with Medicare enrollment, hospital claims, and prescription drug transaction data (January-December 2011) and used to determine the prevalence of new initiation of a long-acting opioid prescribed to residents in NHs.

RESULTS: Of NH residents prescribed a long-acting opioid within 30 days of NH admission (n = 12,278), 9.4% (95% confidence interval = 8.9-9.9%) lacked a prescription drug claim for a short-acting opioid in the previous 60 days. The most common initial prescriptions of long-acting opioids were fentanyl patch (51.9% of opioid-naive NH residents), morphine sulfate (28.1%), and oxycodone (17.2%).

CONCLUSION: New initiation of long-acting opioids-especially fentanyl patches, which have been the subject of safety communications-persists in NHs.


analgesics, long-acting opioid, nursing home

DOI of Published Version



J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Sep;64(9):1772-8. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14306. Epub 2016 Aug 3. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

PubMed ID