Chapman University Assistant Professor of Psychology Brooke Jenkins was recently selected as one of the recipients of the 2018 Kay Foundation Data Analytic grant for her research project, “Opioid Epidemic in Children: Leveraging Big Data from Electronic Medical Records to Assess Opioid Prescription and Use in the Children’s Hospital Setting.” Seventeen applications were submitted and scored by peer reviewers. Dr. Jenkins’ project was one of five selected. Her award is $96,000.00 and spans 2 years.

In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study looking at tolerance and withdrawal from prolonged opioid use in critically ill children. It found that critically ill children routinely receive opioids for pain management, which leads to opioid tolerance and withdrawal. Infants and young children commonly experience this more frequently because of developmental changes in metabolism, excretion, and other factors. Advances in opioid pharmacology cannot be applied to critically ill children, because the incidence and risk factors for opioid tolerance in patients remain unknown.

Dr. Jenkins project will build on existing research by examining the prescription of opioids across the hospital setting. Different departments and medical specialists in the hospital likely have varying rates of opioid prescriptions. The study also aims to determine how opioid prescription and use in the hospital setting is related to pain, sociodemographic factors, and parent’s satisfaction with their child’s treatment.

We congratulate Dr. Jenkins on this achievement and look forward to reading about her findings in the future.