Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Utility of the Pain Medication Questionnaire to predict aberrant urine drug tests: Results from a longitudinal cohort study.

Morasco BJ, Iacocca MO, Lovejoy TI, Dobscha SK, Deyo RA, Cavese JA, Hyde S, Yarborough BJH. Utility of the Pain Medication Questionnaire to predict aberrant urine drug tests: Results from a longitudinal cohort study. Psychological Services. 2021 Aug 1; 18(3):319-327.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Identifying patients at risk of misusing prescription opioids is a priority. Standardized risk measures exist, but prior research has been limited in an assessment of their utility by a reliance on cross-sectional or retrospective analyses. In this study, the Pain Medication Questionnaire (PMQ), a standardized self-report measure of risk for prescription opioid misuse, was used to predict aberrant urine drug test (UDT) results over the subsequent 24 months. At baseline, participants who were prescribed long-term opioid therapy completed self-report measures assessing pain, function, and quality of life; this also included the PMQ. Medical record data were abstracted for 24 months postbaseline to collect results of UDTs administered during clinical care. Among participants, 12.9% had a UDT result that was positive for a nonprescribed or illicit substance, 18.9% had an aberrant negative UDT result, 3.6% had aberrant positive and negative UDT results, and the remaining 64.6% had expected UDT results. Average PMQ score at baseline did not significantly differ based on participants'' type of UDT result over 24 months of follow-up. Participant variables that were significantly associated with a subsequent aberrant positive UDT were higher prescription opioid dose and hazardous alcohol use; those associated with an aberrant negative UDT were lower prescription opioid dose and hazardous alcohol use; no variable was associated with combined positive and negative UDT results. In conclusion, total PMQ score was not predictive of aberrant positive or negative UDT results. More work is needed to identify optimal strategies of screening for risk of aberrant UDT results. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.