Health Services Research & Development

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Gerlach LB, Strominger J, Kim HM, Maust DT. Discontinuation of Chronic Benzodiazepine Use Among Adults in the United States. Journal of general internal medicine. 2019 Sep 1; 34(9):1833-1840.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend most benzodiazepine (BZD) treatment be short-term, though chronic BZD use is increasing. OBJECTIVE: Determine the rate of BZD discontinuation among chronic users and identify patient- and provider-level factors associated with discontinuation. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study using nationwide insurance claims data from 2014 to 2016 of US adults =?18 years old with chronic BZD use (i.e., >?120 days) during the baseline year. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was BZD discontinuation among chronic users after 1 year of follow-up. A series of multilevel logistic regression models examined the association of BZD discontinuation with patient and provider characteristics. Covariates included patient sociodemographics, medical and psychiatric comorbidity, co-prescribed opioids and other psychotropics, and characteristics of the prescribed BZD. KEY RESULTS: Of 141,008 chronic BZD users, 13.4% discontinued use after 1 year. Females had lower odds of discontinuation (AOR 0.83, 99% CI 0.79-0.87), while African-American patients had higher odds (AOR 1.12, 99% CI 1.03-1.22). Those prescribed a high-potency BZD had lower odds of discontinuation (AOR 0.51, 99% CI 0.47-0.54), as did those prescribed an opioid (AOR 0.94, 99% CI 0.89-0.99). After adjusting for patient- and provider-level factors, differences between providers accounted for 5.8% of variation in BZD discontinuation (p?