Patients Who Suffer Chronic Pain
Patients in chronic pain are so dissatisfied
efficacy of their prescription and
medications that 78% are
treatments and 43% would spend
more on a treatment if they knew it would
according to a national survey commissioned
by Partners Against Pain, an
sponsored by Purdue Pharma.
of more than 1000
said their OTC
medication is not
of those who
the therapies are not completely
Many surveyed patients reported suffering
pain for years, with 62%
at least 5 years.
Even for those
who say their
it often has
taken a long time to get relief.
Some 43% of patients
suffered for a year
before they felt their pain
was under control,
it took 5 years or longer.
"Pain is a serious public health problem for
patients and the physicians who care for
When inadequately treated, pain interferes
patients' quality of life," stated
Kathleen Foley, MD,
professor and neurologist
at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
and Partners Against Pain advisor.
Patients' satisfaction with their physicians
relates to how successful
physicians are in
Those not completely happy
as the main reason
respondents expressed their
through comments such as
and "not doing
as much to heal me as
Partners Against Pain commissioned the
to identify the scope of pain
management, including access
to treatment within the United States.
According to the National Institutes of Health,
pain costs Americans more than
each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
"The Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations adopted
recognize the right of patients to appropriate
pain assessment and
and patients need to understand
managed," said Dr. Foley.
must determine the severity
and frequency of
experience to prescribe the most
and effective pain
Pain treatment needs to be individualized."
Many of the surveyed patients believe
family is tired of hearing about
problems, such as
quality of life issues,
that their family doesn't
their pain affects their life.
of patients surveyed
uncomfortable discussing their
with family and friends, and 37% say
While many aspects of daily living
by pain, interference
majority of surveyed patients (56%).
They also report that pain
mood, (51%), ability to drive (30%),
to have sexual
to feed themselves (7%).
In their search for relief, many
they have seen 3
physicians for their pain
taken 3.7 different
kinds of prescription
as part of their pain treatment.
from severe or constant
traveled far for help,
with more than 20%
patients traveling 51 miles or more for
Patients reported generally receiving
first with OTC medications
(NSAIDs), and physical
according to their needs.
The range of prescription pain treatments
includes NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors,
low dose antidepressants,
anticonvulsants, and opioid
In addition, 80% of patients surveyed
that their pain was a
normal part of
their medical condition
and something with which they must live.
For one third of
sufferers, their chronic pain
is so severe and debilitating,
they feel they
as normal people
sometimes is so
want to die.
Among the survey respondents, 48% experienced
pain related to skeletal problems,
back pain, as well as problems with the knees,
ankle/foot, joints, bones,
hips and bursitis; and other sources
(28%), headaches (16%),
nerve problems (10%), surgical/postoperative (4%),
traumatic injury (2%).