Florida Public Health Review


We explored palliation practices and experiences among providers at university campus health centers to assess the availability and viability of non-opioid options for student patients. We interviewed 10 healthcare providers at the campus health center for a large research university in the southeastern United States. Data were collected via semi- structured interviews. Analyses of interview transcripts were performed via content analysis with open coding. We identified multiple barriers to non-opioid pain management. Non-opioid modalities were more likely to receive no insurance subsidy, and thus, to go unused even if clinically indicated. Providers also reported high levels of concern with potential opioid dependency, as well as interest in safer options for long-term palliation. Contextualizing results from our case study with prior literature from other care settings suggests that lack of access to non-opioid options presents challenges for university students who live with chronic pain.