Escalent Explores the Systemic Nature of America’s Opioid Crisis

August 21, 2019

New study offers view of consumer pain management and the alternatives to opioids that patients are willing to consider

Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm, today published a study examining the nationwide opioid crisis through the lens of consumer attitudes.

Partnering for a Healthier America paints a picture of the healthcare industry through the eyes of patients, translating consumer behaviors into actionable information and highlighting steps the healthcare industry’s key players can take to address the contributing factors to the crisis.

“Our respondents indicated a lack of awareness and access to alternatives to opioids as a pain management tool through the process of diagnosis and treatment,” said Jessica Bardsley, vice president of Escalent’s health division. “Physicians, insurers and healthcare providers must work together to make these critical alternatives a realistic option for more patients.”

Findings outlined within the study include:

  • 58% of those who experience chronic pain say their doctor has either never spoken with them about prescription alternatives or that they can’t recall their doctor having done so.
  • Over half (56%) of those using opioids to treat chronic pain say they would consider alternative pain management options even if less effective than prescriptions.
  • Patients are just as likely to consider alternative forms of treatment if they are recommended by their insurance provider as they are to consider such a recommendation from a doctor.

These attitudes and experiences illustrate a gap between patient interest in and access to alternative pain management options. Stakeholders throughout the healthcare industry have an opportunity to close this gap by offering support for alternatives in insurance plans, bringing them to patients earlier in the treatment process and prioritizing access to such alternatives in the delivery of care.

Click below for a full copy of the study.

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About the study

Escalent interviewed a sample of 972 consumers living in a household within the United States in one of the nine Census Defined regions age 18+ between August 10-14 in 2018. Respondents were recruited from Full-Circle opt-in online panel of US adults and were interviewed online. The data were weighted by age, gender, and census region to match the demographics of the US population. Due to its opt-in nature, this online panel (like most others) does not yield a random probability sample of the target population. As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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