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Update of a Multivariable Opioid Overdose Risk Prediction Model to Enhance Clinical Care for Long-term Opioid Therapy Patients.

  • Nguyen, Anh P1
  • Glanz, Jason M2, 3
  • Narwaney, Komal J2
  • Zeng, Chan2
  • Wright, Leslie2
  • Fairbairn, Lane M4
  • Binswanger, Ingrid A2, 4, 5, 6
  • 1 Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, P.O. Box 378066, Denver, CO, 80237-8066, USA. [email protected].
  • 2 Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, P.O. Box 378066, Denver, CO, 80237-8066, USA.
  • 3 Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO, USA.
  • 4 Colorado Permanente Medical Group, Denver, CO, USA.
  • 5 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA.
  • 6 Bernard J. Tyson Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, Pasadena, CA, USA.
Published Article
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2023
DOI: 10.1007/s11606-023-08149-9
PMID: 36944901


Clinical opioid overdose risk prediction models can be useful tools to reduce the risk of overdose in patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy (LTOT). However, evolving overdose risk environments and clinical practices in addition to potential harmful model misapplications require careful assessment prior to widespread implementation into clinical care. Models may need to be tailored to meet local clinical operational needs and intended applications in practice. To update and validate an existing opioid overdose risk model, the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Opioid Overdose (KPCOOR) Model, in patients prescribed LTOT for implementation in clinical care. The retrospective cohort study consisted of 33, 625 patients prescribed LTOT between January 2015 and June 2019 at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, with follow-up through June 2021. The outcome consisted of fatal opioid overdoses identified from vital records and non-fatal opioid overdoses from emergency department and inpatient settings. Predictors included demographics, medication dispensings, substance use disorder history, mental health history, and medical diagnoses. Cox proportional hazards regressions were used to model 2-year overdose risk. During follow-up, 65 incident opioid overdoses were observed (111.4 overdoses per 100,000 person-years) in the study cohort, of which 11 were fatal. The optimal risk model needed to risk-stratify patients and to be easily interpreted by clinicians. The original 5-variable model re-validated on the new study cohort had a bootstrap-corrected C-statistic of 0.73 (95% CI, 0.64-0.85) compared to a C-statistic of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.70-0.88) in the updated model and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.66-0.87) in the final adapted 7-variable model, which was also well-calibrated. Updating and adapting predictors for opioid overdose in the KPCOOR Model with input from clinical partners resulted in a parsimonious and clinically relevant model that was poised for integration in clinical care. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Society of General Internal Medicine.

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