Medication exposure patterns in primary care patients prescribed pharmacogenetically actionable opioids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Current approaches to assessing medication exposure fail to capture the complexity of the phenomenon and the context in which it occurs. This study’s purpose was to develop a typology of subgroups of patients who share common patterns of medication exposure. To create the typology, we used an exemplar sample of 30 patients in a large public healthcare system who had been prescribed the pharmacogenetically actionable opioids codeine or tramadol. Data related to medication exposure were drawn from large data repositories. Using a person-oriented qualitative approach, eight subgroups of patients who shared common patterns of medication exposure were identified. The subgroups had one of five opioid prescription patterns (i.e., singular, episodic, switching, sustained, multiplex), and one of three types of primary foci of medical care (i.e., pain, comorbidities, both). The findings reveal medication exposure patterns that are dynamic, multidimensional, and complex, and the typology offers an innovative approach to assessing medication exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Pages (from-to)1861-1875
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 7 2018


  • Medication exposure
  • Opioid
  • Pain management
  • Person-oriented approach
  • Pharmacogenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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