Interventions to Reduce Opioid Use for Pain Management in the Older Adult Population: A Systematic Review

Sarah Langford, Elizabeth Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Question: What interventions are being conducted to reduce opioid use among older adults (age 65+ years)? Design: Systematic review. Method: Five databases were searched for publications from 2005 through 2019. Articles were evaluated by two independent reviewers. The articles were selected related to the search inclusion/exclusion criteria, quality/risk of bias, and ultimately the strength of evidence with a goal of informing clinical practice. Results: In total, 1,105 articles were evaluated. Through abstract and full article review, 1,093 articles were removed. Ultimately, 11 articles were included in the final review, falling into five themes. All themes resulted in low strength of evidence except for the two surgical themes resulted in one recommendation with strong strength of evidence and one recommendation with moderate strength of evidence. Conclusion: There is limited evidence; however, pharmacists should be aware of alternative evidence-based treatments for surgical pain. More research is needed in this area to study issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1637-1648
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • hospitalizations
  • pain management
  • polypharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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