Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Clinical Research

Drug abuse amongst anesthetists in Brazil: a national survey

O uso abusivo de drogas entre anestesistas no Brasil: uma pesquisa nacional

Gabriel Soares de Sousa, Michael Gerald Fitzsimons, Ariel Mueller, Vinicius Caldeira Quintão, Cláudia Marquez Simões

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The prevalence of Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and acceptance of drug testing among anesthetists in Brazil has not been determined.

An internet-based survey was performed to investigate the prevalence of SUD among anesthetists in Brazil, to explore the attitudes of anesthetists regarding whether SUD jeopardizes the health of an impaired provider or their patient, and to determine the provider’s perspective regarding acceptance and effectiveness of drug testing to reduce SUD. The questionnaire was distributed via social media. REDCap was utilized to capture data. A sample size of 350 to achieve a confidence level of 95% and confidence interval of 5 was estimated. Study report was based on STROBE and CHERRIES statements.

The survey was returned from 1,295 individuals. Most individuals knew an anesthesia provider with a SUD (82.07%), while 23% admitted personal use. The most common identified substances of abuse were opioids (67.05%). Very few respondents worked in a setting that performs drug testing (n = 17, 1.33%). Most individuals believed that drug testing could improve personal safety (82.83%) or the safety of patients (85.41%). Individuals with a personal history of SUD were less likely to believe in the effectiveness of drug testing to reduce one’s own risk (74.92% vs. 85.18%, p < 0.0001) or improve the safety of patients (76.27% vs. 88.13%, p < 0.001).

SUDs are common among anesthetists in Brazil. Drug testing would be accepted as a viable means to reduce the incidence although a larger study should be performed to investigate the logistical feasibility.


Anesthesiology,  Drug testing,  Occupational diseases,  Patient safety,  Substance use disorders


Justificativa: A prevalência de Transtornos por Uso de Substâncias (TUS) e a aceitação de exames toxicológicos entre anestesistas no Brasil não foram determinadas. Métodos: Uma pesquisa baseada na Internet foi realizada para investigar a prevalência de TUS entre anestesistas no Brasil, a fim de investigar se as atitudes dos anestesistas em relação aos TUS prejudicam a saúde de um prestador acometido ou de seu paciente, e determinar a perspectiva do prestador em relação à aceitação e eficácia de exames toxicológicos para reduzir os TUS. O questionário foi distribuído nas redes sociais. REDCap foi utilizado para capturar dados. Uma amostra de 350 indivíduos foi utilizada, para atingir um nível de confiança de 95% e intervalo de confiança estimado em 5. O relatório do estudo foi baseado nas declarações de STROBE e CHERRIES. Resultados: A pesquisa foi devolvida por 1.295 indivíduos. A maioria dos indivíduos conhecia um anestesista com TUS (82,07%), enquanto 23% admitiam o uso pessoal. As substâncias de abuso mais comumente identificadas foram os opioides (67,05%). Pouquíssimos respondentes trabalhavam em um ambiente que realiza teste de drogas (n = 17, 1,33%). A maioria dos indivíduos acredita que o teste de drogas pode melhorar a segurança pessoal (82,83%) ou a segurança dos pacientes (85,41%). Indivíduos com histórico pessoal de TUS eram menos propensos a acreditar na eficácia dos exames toxicológicos para reduzir o próprio risco (74,92% vs. 85,18%, p <0,0001) ou melhorar a segurança dos pacientes (76,27% vs. 88,13%, p <0,001). Conclusões: TUSs são comuns entre anestesistas no Brasil. O teste de drogas seria aceito como um meio viável de reduzir a incidência, embora um estudo maior deva ser realizado para investigar a viabilidade logística. © 2021 Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia. Publicado pela Elsevier Editora Ltda. Este é um artigo de acesso aberto sob a licença CC BY-NC-ND ( by-nc-nd / 4.0 /).


Anestesiologia; Exame toxicológico; Doenças ocupacionais; Segurança ao paciente; Transtornos por uso de substâncias


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