Opioid use and misuse in children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer: a systematic review of the literature

Melissa Beauchemin, Richard Dorritie, Dawn L. Hershman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are at increased risk for negative opioid-related outcomes, including misuse and overdose. High-quality cancer care requires adequate pain management and often includes opioids for tumor- and/or treatment-related pain. Little is known about opioid use and misuse in children and AYAs with cancer, and we therefore conducted a systematic review of the literature using PRISMA guidelines to identify all relevant studies that evaluated opioid use and/or misuse among this population. Eleven studies were identified that met our inclusion criteria. The range of opioid use among the studies was 12–97%, and among the five studies that reported opioid misuse or aberrant behaviors, 7–90% of patients met criteria. Few studies reported factors associated with opioid misuse but included prior mental health and/or substance use disorders, and prior opioid use. In summary, opioid use is highly variable among children and AYAs with cancer; however, the range of use varies widely depending on the study population, such as survivors or end-of-life cancer patients. Few studies have examined opioid misuse and/or aberrant behaviors, and future research is needed to better understand opioid use and misuse among children and AYAs with cancer, specifically those who will be cured of their cancer and may subsequently experience adverse opioid-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • AYAs
  • Adolescent and young adults
  • Opioid misuse
  • Opioid prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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