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Opioid Use by Australian women: Patterns of use over time and association with physical and mental health and health care use


Prescription of opioids for persistent pain remains controversial due to the potential for significant adverse events, including gastrointestinal problems, mental and physical functional impairment, addiction, and death. Current opioid monitoring systems cannot identify and track individual opioid prescriptions, so the extent of inappropriate prescribing and associated harms in Australia is not currently known. This project aims to: (1) describe patterns of PBS opioids prescriptions for three cohorts of women (in their 30s, 50s and 80s), from 2002 to 2008; (2) examine demographic, psychosocial, health and health care utilisation factors associated with opioid prescription across time;(3) explore related health outcomes (quality of life, disability, falls) over time for opioid users.