Date of Award

Fall 12-12-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Souhiela Fawaz

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Tomaszewski


This project aims to evaluate gender differences in opioid prescribing in ambulatory care and emergency department settings. The retrospective analysis of opioid prescribing rates in the US included all adult medical visits from 2006-2016. Data was collected from two nationally representative surveys, The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and the National Hospital and Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). Eligible patients were at least 18 years old on the date of the visit. Bivariate and multivariate analysis were used to identify factors associated with opioid prescribing.

Rates of opioid prescribing increased for both men and women over the study period. Men were more likely than women to be prescribed opioids in ambulatory (OR 1.214 95%CI 1.214-1.214) and emergency care (OR 0.981 95%CI 0.980-0.981). Gender differences in opioid prescribing varied in different healthcare settings, with significant differences in patient demographics and clinical characteristics observed in ambulatory care settings, but not in emergency care. Differences were seen in characteristics of age, payment method, and pain diagnoses between men and women receiving opioids from primary care physicians. Whereas in the emergency department, men and women were being prescribed opioids at similar rates with the same predictors of demographics and clinical factors. These studies highlight the prescribing patterns, gender differences and predictors of opioid prescribing. The findings suggest care should consider the impact gender has on opioid prescribing. Gender should also be recognized when designing policies to address the opioid crisis in the United States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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