Predicted Risk of Opioid Use Disorder

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Student: Sarah McDougall
Mentor: Dr. Praveen Madiraju

Project Description

The prevalence of opioid misuse is rising, as evidenced by the increase in hospital readmissions linked to opioid abuse and dependence and the increase in opioid overdose deaths. This project uses deidentified hospital records to find health-related and social determinants that can be used to assess the risk of a subsequent opioid overdose following an opioid-related overdose. Furthermore, the project will use the hospital data to assess the risk of 30-day and 90-day all-cause readmissions following an opioid-related overdose. Machine learning models will be implemented on the hospital dataset to predict the risk that a patient develops opioid use disorder.

The project can be broken down into two areas of research:

  • Prediction of risk of opioid use disorder and opioid-related overdose
  • Prediction of risk of hospital readmission following opioid-related overdose (30-day and 90-day, all-cause and opioid-related)

Project Goals

  • Gain understanding of the opioid epidemic’s severity and lasting effects on society and the healthcare system
    • This requires learning basic medical terminology surrounding opioid use.
  • Read related works that discuss risk factors for opioid use disorder, opioid overdose, and hospital readmission
  • Perform data cleaning, wrangling, and feature engineering on the healthcare dataset
  • Complete exploratory data analysis and data visualization on the dataset to determine which variables are closely related to heavy opioid use
    • Health-related, demographic, social, and outcome variables
    • Look for variables related to opioid use disorder or opioid overdose
    • Look for variables related to 30-day and 90-day hospital readmission (all-cause and opioid-related)
  • Implement machine learning models to predict risk of developing OUD, overdose, and hospital readmission at different time intervals (30-day and 90-day, all-cause and opioid-related)
    • Possible models: random forest, tree-based models, recurrent neural network
  • Evaluate and compare the machine learning models using quantitative measures: accuracy, precision, recall, area under the curve (AUC)
  • Make conclusions about how providers can utilize the data and results to provide overdose prevention intervention in an ED setting


Week Description
Week 1
  • Set milestones and goals for project
  • Complete Data Science boot camp
  • Start reading related work provided by mentor
Week 2
  • Read related work provided by mentor on hospital readmission and opioid use disorder
  • Read additional related work from Google Scholar and IEEE about the opioid epidemic
  • Do additional research and practice with Python libraries
  • Responsible Conduct of Research and Biomedical Research training
Week 3
  • Do more research on which ML models have been used to evaluate similar healthcare-related issues
  • Obtain and start exploring the data
  • Do research on scikit-learn package for data preprocessing and machine learning
Week 4
  • Start data wrangling and preprocessing for readmission and OUD study
  • Perform exploratory data analysis
Week 5
  • Prepare and deliver mini presentation
  • Complete data wrangling and preprocessing
  • Conduct background research on opioid epidemic in the U.S. and in Wisconsin
Week 6
  • Complete Random Forest, SVM, and AdaBoost classifications for both studies
  • Conduct hyperparameter tuning, feature selection, and feature engineering based on performance metrics
  • Look into implementation of deep learning models
Week 7
  • Begin writing final report
  • Begin preparing poster
  • Evaluate and begin comparing ML models
Week 8
  • Compare ML models
  • Conduct research on future work within healthcare and extensions within computer science
  • Continue writing final paper - related work, preprocessing, limitations, and future work
Week 9
  • Conduct further preprocessing and feature selection to improve performance metrics for ML models
  • Create tables and visualizations for final paper and poster
  • Continue writing final paper - background, methods, and results
  • Gather information for poster and final presentation
Week 10
  • Prepare and give oral presentation
  • Present poster at poster session
  • Finish and submit final paper