Research Highlight: County-level opioid prescribing is largely shaped by healthcare availability | 2021-22 Fellow Feinuo Sun

Published: 3 March 2022

2021-22 CAnD3 Fellow Feinuo Sun recently published her first dissertation paper in Social Science & Medicine. This is among the first studies examining the opioid crisis in the U.S. from a spatiotemporal perspective. The paper examines how rurality impacts the prescription of opioids across U.S. counties, using a spatiotemporal dataset (2006-2018) from a variety of national data sources, such as the U.S. Opioid Dispensing Rate Maps and the American Community Survey.



The results show that the time effects in non-spatial models become no longer significant in spatial models, and the spatial clustering patterns of opioid prescribing rates persist over the years. Counties with a higher degree of rurality have higher opioid prescribing rates and this association is largely shaped by the availability of healthcare services. The study highlights the importance of controlling opioid prescribing via the healthcare system.

Read the paper

Sun, F. (2022). Rurality and opioid prescribing rates in US counties from 2006 to 2018: A spatiotemporal investigation. Social Science & Medicine, 114788. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114788

More about Feinuo

Circular head shot of Feinuo, a 2021-22 CAnD3 Fellow

Feinup Sun is a postdoctoral fellow with the Global Aging and Community Initiative (GACI) at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her research interests focus on the demography of health, rural/urban studies, migration, spatial analysis, and quantitative methods. Currently, she works with Dr. Zachary Zimmer and his research team as a collaborator for their NIH-funded project titled: “The Demography of Chronic Pain: A Population Approach to Pain Trends, Pain Disparities, and Pain-Related Disability and Death.” In the CAnD3 program, Feinuo looks forward to advancing her substantive and methodological knowledge on aging and population health studies and exploring more research possibilities using various data sources and new methods

Feinuo's links: CAnD3 profile | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google Scholar


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