Jacksonville, FL: Physicians who administer urine drug tests to their patients frequently misinterpret the results, according to data published recently in the Journal of Opioid Management.
The study posed seven multiple-choice questions to physicians who employ urinalysis to monitor their patients’ opioid therapy. Investigators reported that none of the doctors surveyed answered all seven questions accurately, and only 30 percent answered more than half correctly.
"Physicians who employ urine drug testing to monitor patients’ [drug use] are not proficient in test interpretation," authors concluded. "This study highlights the need for improved physician education."
A 2006 Harvard Medical School study of pediatricians who order drug screens for their patients reported that few physicians knew how to properly administer the tests or how to correctly interpret the results.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: email@example.com. Full text of the study, "Urine drug test interpretation: what do physicians know?" appears in the Journal of Opioid Management.