Friday Feb 24, 2023

Episode 12: Association of Perioperative Anxiety and Postoperative Opioid-Related Outcomes

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as: “An unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage.” Among many other variables, mental health conditions play a critical role in determining the emotional experience. Thus, it is very reasonable to hypothesize that baseline anxiety, for instance, may influence pain and opioid prescribing. In this month’s RAPM Focus, Editor-in-Chief Brian Sites, MD, joins Shay Nguyen and Jennifer Waljee, MD, authors on “Prospective cohort study on the trajectory and association of perioperative anxiety and postoperative opioid-related outcomes,” first published in August 2022 ( In this fascinating study, 1,771 patients were prospectively followed; self-reported opioid use, pain, and anxiety were recorded on the day of surgery and at 1-, 3-, and 6-months post-surgery to examine whether or not anxiety was a mediator between pain and opioid use. Shay N. Nguyen is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan who is applying into classic surgery. She studied biochemistry in the University of California, Santa Barba, where she did research in chemistry and material science. Currently, her research interests include understanding risk factors for opioid use in the context of surgery and perioperative anxiety management. Dr. Jennifer F. Waljee is a plastic surgeon in academic practice at the University of Michigan. She completed her medical school training at Emory University and completed clinical residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at the University of Michigan, followed by a hand surgery fellowship. Dr. Waljee is a co-founder and co-director of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN), a statewide collaborative program dedicated to enhancing opioid stewardship and developing best practices for the management of acute pain during procedural care. *The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. The content of this podcast does not constitute medical advice, and it is not intended to function as a substitute for a healthcare practitioner’s judgement, patient care, or treatment. The views expressed by contributors are those of the speakers. BMJ does not endorse any views or recommendations discussed or expressed on this podcast. Listeners should also be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. By listening to this podcast, listeners agree not to use its content as the basis for their own medical

treatment or for the medical treatment of others.

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