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Peggy Compton

Associate Professor of Nursing, van Ameringen Chair in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
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About Peggy

Compton’s work is grounded in her neuropsychiatric nursing practice in addiction and pain treatment settings and involves the testing and refinement of a novel nursing theory that pain and opiate addiction are interrelated phenomena co-expressed in unique human life responses. Compton has established herself as an expert in identifying opiate abuse and addiction in chronic pain patients and has made significant contributions to the fields of addiction and pain.

Compton's experience working in several public treatment settings, coupled with her extensive research and publication on pain and opioids, has helped to establish methods to identify substance use disorders and addiction in chronic pain patients on ongoing analgesic therapy.


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In the News

Peggy Compton's research on Joel Wolfram, "Leftover Painkillers Driving Opioid Crisis, Penn Researcher Says," 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh, September 18, 2017.
Peggy Compton quoted by Moriah Balingit, "Aiming to Curb Drug Abuse, New Program Will Teach Teens the Science of Addiction" Washington Post, October 25, 2016.


"Addressing the Potential for Perioperative Relapse in Those Recovering from Opioid Use Disorder" (with Joseph Myers). Pain Medicine (2017).

Finds that one in 10 surgical patients is still using opioids one year postdischarge despite expectations that postoperative pain subsides within the first month following surgery

"The Epidemic of Prescription Opioid Abuse, the Subsequent Rising Prevalence of Heroin Use, and the Federal Response" (with Andrew B. Kanouse). Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmocotherapy 29, no. 2 (2015): 201-114.

Reviews and explores the combination of factors of events that led to the current “epidemic” of prescription opioid abuse and overdose deaths, as well as the subsequent resurgence of heroin use among opioid addicts.

"The Effect of Motivational Interviewing on Prescription Opioid Adherence among Older Adults with Chronic Pain" (with Yu-Ping Chang, Pamela Almeter, and Chester H. Fox). Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 51, no. 3 (2014): 211-219.

Tests the effect of office‐based motivational interviewing (MI) on prescription opioid adherence in older adults with chronic pain. Finds that participants demonstrated a significantly reduced risk of prescription opioid misuse, decreased substance use, increased self‐efficacy, increased motivation to change, and decreased depression at both the post‐test and 1‐month follow‐up.

"College on Problems of Drug Dependence Taskforce on Prescription Opioid Non-Medical Use and Abuse: Position Statement" (with George Bigelow, James Zacny, Kathleen Foley, Martin Iguchi, and Christine Sannerud). Drug and Alcohol Dependnece 69, no. 3 (2003): 215-232.

Addresses the issues related to the non-medical use and abuse of prescription opioids.