A Qualitative Examination of Opioid Sparing Anesthesia Practices Among CRNAs



      The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of CRNAs using opioid sparing techniques in their perioperative anesthesia practice.


      This study used a qualitative descriptive methodology.


      Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who use opioid sparing anesthesia in their clinical practice in the US.


      Sixteen interviews were completed. Thematic network analysis revealed two major themes: (1) perioperative benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia and (2) prospective benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia. Perioperative benefits described include reduction or elimination of postoperative nausea and vomiting, superior pain control, and improved short-term recovery. Prospective benefits described include higher surgeon satisfaction, superior surgeon-managed pain control, increased patient satisfaction, reduction of opioids in the community, and awareness of positive prospective benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia.


      This study highlights the significance of opioid sparing anesthesia and its role in comprehensive perioperative pain control, reduction of opioids in the community, and patient recovery beyond the Post Anesthesia Care Unit.


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