A Literature Review of Pain Management and Opioid Use: Approach to Formalize Psychological and Behavioral Characteristics in a Virtual Human Patient Simulation Public Deposited

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  • May 15, 2019
  • Lam, Heysel
    • Affiliation: Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Objective: To acquire clinical data on pain management and opioid use disorder in order to provide the relevant artificial intelligence content and foundation to help develop a virtual human patient simulation model. Methods: A systematized search of the PubMed database was conducted using search terms related to opioid drugs and psychological and behavioral processes. A stepwise approach was used to refine and limit search terms and keywords based on the number of results returned. Resulting articles were extracted and used to derive “if-then rules” that reflect each psychological or behavioral change influenced by opioid use. Results: A search from January 2017 to February 2018 identified 62 full-text articles that were included in the literature review. 273 “if-then rules” were derived, with 247 focusing on psychological processes and 26 focusing on behavioral processes. A number of studies involved methadone (33.9%), multiple opioids (24.2%), and buprenorphine (22.6%). Opioid dependence was reported in 41.9% of the studies. Conclusion: This literature review supports the rising interest in opioid replacement therapy, most notably in methadone and buprenorphine, in light of the U.S. opioid epidemic in recent years. Additional research is needed to focus on the effects of opioids on behavioral processes.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Hubal, Robert
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
Academic concentration
  • Pharmacy
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2019
  • English

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