Thursday, April 26, 2012

About Pain - Canadian Pain Summit 2012

  • 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from chronic pain daily[1]
  • Children are not spared with 2% of boys and almost 6% of girls between 12 and 17 years of age report chronic pain [2]
  • Pain is a major concern for older adults because of its high prevalence – estimated to be as high as 65% for those living in the community and up to 80% of older adults living in long-term care facilities[3]
  • Chronic pain costs more than cancer , heart disease and HIV combined with direct health care costs of $6 billion[1]
  • Productivity costs related to job loss and sick days are estimated to be $55 TO $60 billion per year[1]
  • Veterinarians get five times more training in pain than people doctors and three times more training than nurses[4]
  • Chronic pain is associated with the worst quality of life as compared with other chronic diseases such as chronic lung or heart disease[1]
  • There is double the risk of suicide as compared with people without chronic pain[5]
  1. Schopflocher, D., R. Jovey, et al. (2010). "The Burden of Pain in Canada, results of a Nanos Survey." Pain Res Manage:  In Press.
  2. Joe McAllister, The Medical Post - January 26, 2011.  "Statistics Canada, 2007/08 Community Health Survey, 24 month file."
  3. Hadjistavropoulos, T., S. Gibson, et al. (2010). Pain in older persons : a brief clinical guide. Chronic Pain Management: A Clinical Guide. M. E. Lynch, K. D. Craig and P. W. H. Peng. Oxford, UK, Wiley-Blackwell: 311-318.
  4. Watt-Watson, J., M. McGillion, et al. (2008). "A survey of prelicensure pain curricula in health science faculties in Canadian universities." Pain Res Manage.
  5. Tang, N. and C. Crane (2006). "Suicidality in chronic pain:  review of the prevalence, risk factors and psychological links."  Psychol Med 36: 575-586.

Barriers to Better Pain Management


1.   Attitudes:  a lack of understanding that chronic pain is not just a symptom, but a chronic disesase;
2.  Lack of information:  for pain sufferers to self-manage their own health;
3.  Access:  if often limited or not available;
4.  Lack of knowledge:  primary care physicians and other front-line care providers lack pain management knowledge and don't have access to support services including - physicians, nurses and allied health personnel (e.g. psychology, physiotherapy), specializing in pain medicine;
5.  Education:  a lack of undergraduate education across health disciplines in pain management;
6.  Lack of identification:  the inability to identify chronic pain as the primary disease/condition for seeking health care resources through the existing data sources in Ministry of Health - Medical Services, hospital and community data sources in Canada; and,
7.  Resources:  a lack of resources and education needed to identify and effectively treat pain in long-term care facilities and in the community.