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Acute pain, non-pharmacological, opioid abuse, opioid dependence, opioid tolerance



  1. Hargett, Jennifer L.


Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to identify and map the evidence on non-pharmacological interventions for acute pain management in patients with opioid tolerance and opioid abuse.


Introduction: The mainstay of pain management for adults experiencing moderate to severe acute pain is opioid therapy. However, in light of the known risks of opioid use and the growing number of patients with opioid tolerance or opioid abuse, non-pharmacological interventions are of increasing interest to healthcare providers. Non-pharmacological techniques have shown potential in reducing postoperative pain, opioid consumption, stress and anxiety.


Inclusion criteria: Eligible studies will include participants in a hospital or healthcare facility who are experiencing acute pain and have a tolerance to or dependence on opioids. Studies that examine non-pharmacological interventions for treating acute pain in these patients will be considered. Non-pharmacological interventions may include, but are not limited to, acupuncture, electroacupuncture, massage, mindfulness, electroanalgesia, laser therapy, low-level light therapy, meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis and relaxation techniques. Only studies published in English will be included, and there will be no limit on dates of publication.


Methods: PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Embase, Europe PubMed Central, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and will be searched, as well as sources of unpublished studies. After screening the titles and abstracts of identified citations, two independent reviewers will retrieve potentially relevant full-text studies, assess methodological quality and extract data. Data will be presented in diagrammatic or tabular form, and a qualitative thematic analysis will be undertaken. A narrative summary will accompany the tabulated results.