Effects of Florida Law on Opioid Prescriptions after Cesarean Delivery

Citation: Potnuru PP, Patel SD, Birnbach DJ, Epstein RH, Dudaryk R. Effects of State Law Limiting Postoperative Opioid Prescription in Patients After Cesarean DeliveryAnesth Analg. 2021;132(3):752-760. PubMed ID: 32639388

Study Findings:

Implementation of Florida Law HB 21 was associated with a lower total prescribed opioid dose and a shorter duration of therapy at the time of hospital discharge following cesarean delivery. These reductions were not associated with the need for additional opioid prescriptions or emergency department visits.

A Word on Segmented Regression Analysis

In this paper, we used a particularly useful and informative statistical method called segmented regression analysis of an interrupted time series. The method looks at the pre-intervention trend and level of the outcome and compares it with the post-intervention trend and level. This is particularly important when looking at something like opioid prescriptions as an outcome. Because of the increased focus on opioids, prescribers were already trending towards prescribing fewer opioids (unrelated to the intervention studied [Florida’s HB 21 law]). Therefore, it is important to account for this pre-existing trend to avoid incorrectly “over-associating” the intervention with the change in outcomes.

By using segmented regression analysis, we can reduce the confounding effect of pre-existing trends and perform a more robust analysis of policy-based interventions (e.g., laws, QI initiatives, policy changes within a hospital, etc.).

Resources on Segmented Regression Analysis

Example of an Article using Segmented Regression Analysis

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