Research and Scholarship
Predictors of Nurse Practitioner Prescription of Opioids for Cancer Pain: Quantitative Results
Erin McMenamin,(1,2) PhD, CRNP, Marye Kellermann,(3) PhD, CRNP, FAANP, Regina Cunningham,(1,2) PhD, FAAN, and Janet Selway,(3) DNSc, AGNP-C, CPNP-PC, FAANP
From (1)Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; (2)University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; (3)Catholic University of America Conway School of Nursing, Washington, DC
Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.
Correspondence to: Erin McMenamin, PhD, CRNP, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104
J Adv Pract Oncol 2023;14(1):22–35 |
© 2023 Harborside™
Background: Nurse practitioners (NPs) have assumed a greater role in the management of pain related to cancer. Several studies have associated adequate management of cancer pain with improved survival. Opioids are an essential treatment for cancer pain management and thus it is important to understand influences on prescribing these substances. However, due to a lack of previous studies on this topic, little is known about the influences on NP prescription of opioids for patients with pain due to cancer. Purpose: Competent decision-making is highly correlated with dominant personality characteristics and dominant decision-making styles in everyday life. The rational approach to decision-making has demonstrated superior performance with different daily tasks, including career-related tasks. However, it is unknown whether dominant personality and/or decision-making style impacts the decisions of medical professionals. Using the Diffusion of Innovations theoretical framework, this study evaluated whether dominant personality, dominant decision style, advanced specialty certification, and/or demographic factors influenced oncology NP opioid prescribing proficiency (termed opioid decision score, or ODS) according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines. Other advanced practice providers (APPs) were excluded from the study due to controlled substance prescribing limitations. Methods: An internet-based descriptive comparative study was performed evaluating the dominant personality characteristic and dominant decision-making style as a predictor of opioid prescribing among NPs working in oncology. Participants were recruited using lists from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). A nationwide convenience sample of NPs working with adult oncology patients was evaluated for opioid prescribing according to recommendations in the NCCN Cancer Pain Guidelines. Results: Univariate linear regression revealed a statistically significant increase in the ODS as the Big Five Inventory (BFI) Openness scale score increased (estimate = 0.36, standard error [SE] = 0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.03–0.69). Nurse practitioners reporting advanced specialty certification in oncology and/or hospice or palliative care scored significantly higher on the ODS compared with those with no advanced specialty certification (n = 81, M = 2.86, 2.34, t = –2.75, df = 178, p = .0065). Conclusion: This study provides preliminary findings regarding the decision-making of NPs working with oncology patients and prescribing opioids for cancer pain. Nurse practitioners with a dominant personality characteristic of openness and those reporting an advanced specialty certification in oncology and/or hospice or palliative care were more likely to prescribe opioids for patients with cancer according to NCCN Guidelines. Further investigation is needed to determine additional factors impacting prescribing of controlled substance by NPs and other prescribers.
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