Skip directly to content

Principles in Practice

Case Studies: Principles in Practice

Select a case study to see how appropriate treatment selection and universal precautions for prescription opioid therapy might be applied in specific clinical situations. Note that only selected steps are highlighted in each case. These cases are not based on actual patients.


Ralph: Knee pain for 6 months
Transitioning a patient from opioid to nonopioid therapy

  • Using the Brief Pain Inventory to assess pain and function
  • Tapering and discontinuing opioid therapy

Mary: Chronic low back pain
Explaining universal precautions for opioid prescribing

  • Describing universal precautions and their importance
  • Reviewing risks and responsibilities regarding opioid medication

Susan: Diffuse pain, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia
Addressing aberrant behavior related to prescription opioid use

  • Performing a risk assessment prior to prescribing opioids
  • Withholding opioids due to abuse concerns