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      Undertreatment of pain and low use of opioids in Latin America

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          The individual and societal burden of chronic pain in Europe: the case for strategic prioritisation and action to improve knowledge and availability of appropriate care

          Background Chronic pain is common in Europe and elsewhere and its under treatment confers a substantial burden on individuals, employers, healthcare systems and society in general. Indeed, the personal and socioeconomic impact of chronic pain is as great as, or greater, than that of other established healthcare priorities. In light of review of recently published data confirming its clinical and socioeconomic impact, this paper argues that chronic pain should be ranked alongside other conditions of established priority in Europe. We outline strategies to help overcome barriers to effective pain care resulting in particular from deficiencies in education and access to interdisciplinary pain management services. We also address the confusion that exists between proper clinical and scientific uses of opioid medications and their potential for misuse and diversion, as reflected in international variations in the access to, and availability of, these agents. Discussion As the economic costs are driven in part by the costs of lost productivity, absenteeism and early retirement, pain management should aim to fully rehabilitate patients, rather than merely to relieve pain. Accredited education of physicians and allied health professionals regarding state-of-the-art pain management is crucial. Some progress has been made in this area, but further provision and incentivization is required. We support a tiered approach to pain management, whereby patients with pain uncontrolled by non-specialists are able to consult a physician with a pain competency or a specialist in pain medicine, who in turn can recruit the services of other professionals on a case-by-case basis. A fully integrated interdisciplinary pain service should ideally be available to patients with refractory pain. Governments and healthcare systems should ensure that their policies on controlled medications are balanced, safeguarding public health without undue restrictions that compromise patient care, and that physician education programmes support these aims. Summary Strategic prioritization and co-ordinated actions are required nationally and internationally to address the unacceptable and unnecessary burden of uncontrolled chronic pain that plagues European communities and economies. An appreciation of the ‘return on investment’ in pain management services will require policymakers to adopt a long-term, cross-budgetary approach.
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            Use of and barriers to access to opioid analgesics: a worldwide, regional, and national study.

            Despite opioid analgesics being essential for pain relief, use has been inadequate in many countries. We aim to provide up-to-date worldwide, regional, and national data for changes in opioid analgesic use, and to analyse the relation of impediments to use of these medicines.
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              Prevalence of chronic low back pain: systematic review

              OBJECTIVE To estimate worldwide prevalence of chronic low back pain according to age and sex. METHODS We consulted Medline (PubMed), LILACS and EMBASE electronic databases. The search strategy used the following descriptors and combinations: back pain, prevalence, musculoskeletal diseases, chronic musculoskeletal pain, rheumatic, low back pain, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic low back pain. We selected cross-sectional population-based or cohort studies that assessed chronic low back pain as an outcome. We also assessed the quality of the selected studies as well as the chronic low back pain prevalence according to age and sex. RESULTS The review included 28 studies. Based on our qualitative evaluation, around one third of the studies had low scores, mainly due to high non-response rates. Chronic low back pain prevalence was 4.2% in individuals aged between 24 and 39 years old and 19.6% in those aged between 20 and 59. Of nine studies with individuals aged 18 and above, six reported chronic low back pain between 3.9% and 10.2% and three, prevalence between 13.1% and 20.3%. In the Brazilian older population, chronic low back pain prevalence was 25.4%. CONCLUSIONS Chronic low back pain prevalence increases linearly from the third decade of life on, until the 60 years of age, being more prevalent in women. Methodological approaches aiming to reduce high heterogeneity in case definitions of chronic low back pain are essential to consistency and comparative analysis between studies. A standard chronic low back pain definition should include the precise description of the anatomical area, pain duration and limitation level.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pain Management
                Pain Management
                Future Medicine Ltd
                1758-1869
                1758-1877
                May 2018
                May 2018
                : 8
                : 3
                : 181-196
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Hospital Ángeles, Tijuana, Mexico
                [2 ]Pain & Palliative Care, Federal University of Maranhao, Brazil
                [3 ]Totalcare-Oncosalud-Lima, Perú
                [4 ]Centro Oncológico de Antioquia, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
                [5 ]Programa Regional de Cuidados Paliativos, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad No. 25, IMSS, Monterrey NL, Mexico
                [6 ]Hospital Universitario Fundación Santa Fe, Bogotá. Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
                [7 ]Medicina del Dolor y Cuidados Paliativos, Hospital Médica Sur, Mexico City, Mexico
                [8 ]Pain Medicine & Palliative Care, Universidad del Rosario – MEDERI, Bogotá, Colombia
                [9 ]Federal University of Bahia, Coordinator of the Pain Outpatient Clinic, Brazilian Society for the Study of Pain, Brazil
                [10 ]Department of Pain Medicine & Palliative Care, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición ‘Salvador Zubirán’, Mexico City, Mexico
                [11 ]Orthopaedic Residency Program, UFFS-HSVP-IOT, Passo Fundo, Brazil
                [12 ]Clínica Alemana, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
                [13 ]Pain Clinic, Hospital Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador
                [14 ]Grunenthal Services, Inc., USA
                Article
                10.2217/pmt-2017-0043
                © 2018

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