Optimizing Opioid Stewardship: Unveiling Bias in Language and in Patient-Centered Care

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Expert colleagues explore responsible opioid management strategies and discuss addressing biases affecting prescribing practices across demographics and replacing stigmatizing language to improve patient outcomes; they also review practical approaches to creating ethical, equitable, and patient-centered opioid stewardship programs.

This is a video synopsis/summary of a Practice Pearls featuring Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA, CPEL; Megan Mitchell, PharmD, MS; Stephanie Abel, PharmD, BCPS; and Jennifer Grate, CPhT.

Haumschild initiates a discussion on responsible opioid prescribing and stewardship, emphasizing the need for ethical, patient-centered approaches to tackle biases and barriers. Abel highlights contributors to unequal opioid prescribing, citing issues of stigma and bias, leading to disparities across demographic groups. Factors such as race, socioeconomic status, and insurance status impact the quality of pain management and opioid prescriptions. Mitchell addresses stigmatizing language in opioid prescribing, discouraging terms like narcotic, addict, abuser, and junkie. She emphasizes the importance of patient-first language, urging health care professionals to use alternative, nonstigmatizing terms and promoting education to raise awareness. Grate adds that media reinforces stigma, complicating efforts to use appropriate terminology. Abel emphasizes the significance of language as a hard skill, stating that language choices influence patient outcomes. The speakers collectively stress the need for a paradigm shift in communication and advocacy to eradicate stigmatizing language and improve patient care in diverse health care settings.

This summary was AI-generated and reviewed by Pharmacy Times® editorial staff.

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