Background: : Chronic low back pain is the second leading cause of disability in the United States and is related to greater risk of opioid misuse. Research suggests that severe fatigue may be a relevant factor for better understanding the greater rates of opioid and misuse among adults with chronic low back pain. Therefore, the current study sought to examine differences in opioid misuse, risk for opioid use disorder, and hazardous alcohol use in two different groups: one group with clinically significant fatigue, and one group without clinically significant fatigue. Methods: : Participants were recruited utilizing a validated online survey management system that yielded 1,681 adults (70.0% female, 81.1% White, Mage = 44.5 years, SD = 11.88) with current mild to severe chronic low back pain. One-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models were conducted to examine group differences. Results: : Among adults with chronic low back pain, those with clinically significant fatigue reported significantly greater opioid misuse and risk for opioid use disorder compared to those without clinically significant fatigue. These results were evident after controlling for pain severity and interference. The results for hazardous alcohol use were not significantly different between groups. Conclusions: : Clinically significant fatigue is a distinguishing characteristic among adults with chronic low back pain in terms of opioid misuse and risk for opioid use disorder. Potential clinical implications of such findings suggest that it may be important for clinicians to assess fatigue levels to better manage opioid misuse potential among adults with chronic low back pain.
- chronic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Behavioral Neuroscience