What are the research priorities for optimising the safe and effective use of opioids in Australian general practice?

Monica Jung, Helena Cangadis-Douglass, Suzanne Nielsen, Samanta Lalic, Malcolm Dobbin, Grant Russell, Pallavi Prathivadi, Pene Wood, Elizabeth Manias, Cik Y. Lee, Carolyn Arnold, Megan Kuleas, Jennifer L. Schumann, Jenni Ilomäki, J. Simon Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Persistent high rates of prescription opioid use and harms remain a concern in Australia, Europe and North America. Research priority setting can inform the research agenda, strategic responses and evidence-based interventions. The objective of this study was to establish research priorities related to the safe and effective use of prescription opioids in general practice. Methods: Consumers, clinicians and policy makers were invited to participate in a structured consensus workshop in May 2021. A modified nominal group technique was used to explore research priorities for the safe and effective use of opioids in Australian general practice. Research priorities were identified, consolidated and prioritised using a structured process. Results: Seventeen consumer, medical, pharmacy, nursing, allied health and policy participants generated 26 consolidated priorities across three domains: (i) consumer-focused priorities; (ii) clinician and practice-focused priorities; and (iii) system and policy-focused priorities. The highest ranked research priorities in each of the domains were consumer characteristics that influence opioid prescribing and outcomes, opioid deprescribing strategies, and system-level barriers to prescribing alternatives to opioids, in the consumer, clinician and practice, and system and policy domains, respectively. Discussion and Conclusion: The priorities reflect opportunities for research priority setting within Australian general practice. The priorities provide a map for future qualitative and quantitative research that will inform safe and effective opioid prescribing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-613
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Australia
  • consensus
  • general practice
  • opioid
  • research

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