Honors College Thesis


A Correlative Study on International Healthcare System Variables and Opioid Consumption Data Public Deposited

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  • The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has had significant impacts on opioid overdose rates, productivity, and healthcare expenditure. Research has drawn attention to the necessity of a more integrated, biopsychosocial approach to treatment of chronic pain, and how it could alleviate the current public health emergency. Previous literature alluded to healthcare system variables as the source of the discrepancy between opioid consumption of the U.S. and that of other countries. Existing data was collected on 16 countries for healthcare system variables and opioid consumption data. A statistical analysis was conducted to determine any correlation between the variables and opioid consumption. Findings from this study indicate that while certain variables appear to have significant correlation coefficients (>0.5) with data from the U.S. included in the analysis, these coefficients become insignificant after removal of the U.S. This is indicative of the U.S. being an outlier in the data set. The one variable that remained significant after removal of the U.S., healthcare spending per capita (correlation coefficient= 0.5, p-value=0.05), has many components to it, and requires further investigation. These results suggest that countries with more centralized healthcare systems are able to provide more cost efficient, integrated care that equates to less opioid consumption.
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