OBJECTIVE:

Identify factors associated with the prophylactic prescription of a bowel regimen with an inpatient opioid prescription.

METHODS:

This was a retrospective cohort study from June 1, 2013, to October 31, 2014 of pediatric inpatients prescribed an oral or intravenous opioid on the general medical/surgical floors. We identified patients with or without a prophylactic prescription of a bowel regimen. We obtained patient demographics, prescriber training level and service and used multivariate logistic regression to analyze the factors associated with prophylactic bowel regimen and opioid prescription.

RESULTS:

Of the 6682 encounters that met study criteria, only 966 (14.5%) encounters had prophylactic prescriptions. Patient factors associated with prophylactic prescription include increasing age (per year; odds ratio [OR] = 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–1.07) and sickle cell diagnosis (OR = 3.19, 95% CI 2.08–4.91). Medication factors associated with prophylactic prescription include a scheduled opioid prescription (OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.46–2.1) and a prescription for oxycodone (OR = 3.59, 95% CI 2.57–5.00) or morphine (OR = 1.84, 95% CI 1.39–2.44), compared with acetaminophen-hydrocodone. Compared with medical providers, surgeons were less likely (OR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.35–0.53) and pain service providers were more likely to prescribe a prophylactic bowel regimen (OR = 4.12, 95% CI 3.13–5.43).

CONCLUSIONS:

More than 85% of inpatient opioid prescriptions did not receive a prophylactic bowel regimen. Future research should examine factors (eg, clinical decision support tools) to increase prophylactic prescription of bowel regimens with opioids for populations found to have lower rates.

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