Opioid-Induced Constipation Clinical Audit

Clinical audits are powerful tools for improving clinical practice. In addition they can also cost-effectively generate clinical evidence about real word clinical practice.

This RACGP and ACRRM accredited clinical audit gathered data from GP’s on their clinical management of patients prescribed opioid analgesics for chronic pain as well as data from the patients taking these medications. Obtaining data from these two independent sources enabled us to identify to differences between the GP’s understanding of the clinical situation and the patient’s reality. This highlighted key clinical issues, including a significant underestimation of the number of patients who were experiencing opioid-induced constipation. A decision support tool, identified patients whose care could be improved.

Overall clinical outcomes improved in audit cycle 2 relative to audit cycle 1. In addition, the prescribing of the sponsor’s product increased in cycle 2, from the third most commonly prescribed to the most commonly prescribed.

To extend the reach of the educational value of the clinical audit, the audit results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal and this data has been used to support further education and marketing activities.

  • The clinical challenge of opioid-induced constipation: insights from the opioid-induced constipation clinical audit. J General Practice 2016;4:1-5