Majority of Chronic Pain Patients Suffering Pain One Year Later

September 11, 2009

Even though many believe that everything possible was being done to help them and that they were given the most appropriate treatment, few patients believe thier medicines strong enough to provide relief.

A large majority of patients who suffer from chronic pain are still in pain after a year of treatment, and only a small fraction of patients suffering from chronic pain are being prescribed opioid medication that is strong enough to control symptoms, according to the Pain Study Tracking Ongoing Responses for a Year.

In addition, the PainSTORY survey found that 19% of respondents felt their pain was getting worse over the course of the study, and 60% of patients felt that their chronic pain symptoms were in control of their lives.

In terms of the impact that chronic pain had on daily life, eight in 10 survey respondents said that the pain they were experiencing had an impact of their quality of life. The researchers broke down the responses of those individuals even further, showing that 64% reported problems walking, 30% reported problems washing and dressing, 60% reporting problems sleeping, and 73% of patients reporting problems with everyday activities such as housework or family and leisure pursuits.

However, despite the prevalence of negative results, the study did yield some positives that may help physicians treating chronic pain continue to move in the right direction with regard to treatment strategies. More than half of patients who were questioned felt that “everything possible” was being done to help them, and 64% thought that they were being given “the most appropriate treatment.”

"This research presents a unique insight into patients' journey in pain across Europe,” said Hans Kress, president-elect of the European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain. “It is shocking to observe that one year on, patients are still trapped in an ongoing cycle of pain and a large proportion seem to be losing hope. I urge patients to speak to their doctor if they are experiencing chronic pain or are concerned about side effects and not suffer in silence."