Minimal important difference in postoperative morphine consumption after hip and knee arthroplasty using nausea, vomiting, sedation and dizziness as anchors

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BACKGROUND: Morphine-sparing effects are often used to evaluate non-opioid analgesic interventions. The exact effect that would warrant the implementation of these interventions in clinical practice (a minimally important difference) remains unclear. We aimed to determine this with anchor-based methods.

METHODS: This was a post hoc analysis of three studies investigating pain management after hip or knee arthroplasty (PANSAID [NCT02571361], DEX-2-TKA [NCT03506789] and Pain Map [NCT02340052]). The overall population was median aged 70, median ASA 2, 54% female. We examined the correlation between 0 and 24 h postoperative iv morphine equivalent consumption and the severity of nausea, vomiting, sedation and dizziness. The anchor was different severity degrees of these opioid-related adverse events. The primary outcome was the difference in morphine consumption between patients experiencing no versus only mild events. Secondary outcomes included the difference in morphine consumption between patients with mild versus moderate and moderate versus severe events. We used Hodges-Lehmann median differences, exact Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney tests and quantile regression.

RESULTS: The difference in iv morphine consumption was 6 mg (95% confidence interval: 4-8) between patients with no versus only mild events, 5 mg (2-8) between patients with mild versus moderate events and 0 mg (-4 to 4) between patients with moderate versus severe events.

CONCLUSIONS: In populations comparable to this post-hoc analysis (orthopaedic surgery, median age 70 and ASA 2), we suggest a minimally important difference of 5 mg for 0-24 h postoperative iv morphine consumption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)610-618
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation.

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