Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2021


Objective: Opioid use disorder (OUD) and chronic pain frequently co-occur. Little is known about changes in pain during buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP/NX) maintenance and whether outcomes vary by pain levels. The current study examined changes in pain intensity and pain interference over 12 weeks of BUP/NX maintenance among participants with OUD and chronic pain (N=194). Differences in outcomes were assessed during BUP/NX maintenance (week 12) and two months following a BUP/NX taper (week 24). Method: Data from Phase 2 of the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study were used. Two latent transition models were conducted to characterize profiles and transitions between profiles of pain intensity or pain interference (estimated separately). Results: Each model identified a high and low profile. In the pain interference model, the majority were classified in the low profile at baseline. In the pain intensity model, the majority were classified in the high profile at baseline. In both models, patients were more likely to remain in or transition to the low profiles by week 12. Worse depression was associated with membership in the high profiles and transition to the high pain intensity profile. Those in the high pain intensity and high pain interference profile at week 12 reported worse mental health quality of life (MH-QOL) and depression at week 12. Those in the high pain intensity profile reported worse MH-QOL at week 24. Conclusions: For a subgroup of patients, high pain intensity and high pain interference remains unchanged during BUP/NX maintenance treatment. Depression is related to changes in pain intensity.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Katie Witkiewitz, PhD

Second Committee Member

Kevin E. Vowles, PhD

Third Committee Member

Kamilla Venner, PhD

Fourth Committee Member

R. Kathryn McHugh, PhD




Chronic pain, opioid use disorder, buprenorphine, latent transition modeling

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Included in

Psychology Commons