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      Prevalence of Chronic Pain, Treatments, Perception, and Interference on Life Activities: Brazilian Population-Based Survey

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          Background and Objectives

          Chronic pain affects between 30% and 50% of the world population. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of chronic pain in Brazil, describe and compare differences between pain types and characteristics, and identify the types of therapies adopted and the impact of pain on daily life.


          Cross-sectional study of a population-based survey with randomized sample from a private database. The interviews were conducted by phone. 78% of the respondents aged 18 years or more agreed to be interviewed, for a total of 723 respondents distributed throughout the country. Independent variables were demographic data, pain and treatment characteristics, and impact of pain on daily life. Comparative and associative statistical analyses were conducted to select variables for nonhierarchical logistic regression.


          Chronic pain prevalence was 39% and mean age was 41 years with predominance of females (56%). We found higher prevalence of chronic pain in the Southern and Southeastern regions. Pain treatment was not specific to gender. Dissatisfaction with chronic pain management was reported by 49% of participants.


          39% of interviewed participants reported chronic pain, with prevalence of females. Gender-associated differences were found in intensity perception and interference of pain on daily life activities.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Measures of adult pain: Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS Pain), Numeric Rating Scale for Pain (NRS Pain), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), Chronic Pain Grade Scale (CPGS), Short Form-36 Bodily Pain Scale (SF-36 BPS), and Measure of Intermittent and Constant Osteoarthritis Pain (ICOAP).

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            Prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics in the general population.

            We conducted a large nationwide postal survey to estimate the prevalence of chronic pain with or without neuropathic characteristics in the French general population. A questionnaire aimed at identifying chronic pain (defined as daily pain for at least 3 months), evaluating its intensity, duration and body locations, was sent to a representative sample of 30,155 subjects. The DN4 questionnaire was used to identify neuropathic characteristics. Of the questionnaires, 24,497 (81.2%) were returned and 23,712 (96.8%) could be assessed. Seven thousand five hundred and twenty-two respondents reported chronic pain (prevalence=31.7%; [95%CI: 31.1-32.3]) and 4709 said the pain intensity was moderate to severe (prevalence=19.9%; [95%CI: 19.5-20.4]). Neuropathic characteristics were reported by 1631 respondents with chronic pain (prevalence=6.9%; [95%CI: 6.6-7.2]), which was moderate to severe in 1209 (prevalence=5.1% [95%CI: 4.8-5.4]). A higher prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics was associated with middle age (50-64 years), manual professions and those living in rural areas. It was more frequently located in the lower limbs and its intensity and duration were higher in comparison with chronic pain without neuropathic characteristics. This large national population-based study indicates that a significant proportion of chronic pain patients report neuropathic characteristics. We identified distinctive socio-demographic profile and clinical features indicating that chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics is a specific health problem.
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              The epidemiology of chronic pain of predominantly neuropathic origin. Results from a general population survey.

              Progress in the understanding of chronic pain with neuropathic features has been hindered by a lack of epidemiologic research in the general population. The Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs score (S-LANSS) was recently validated for use in postal surveys, making the identification of pain of predominantly neuropathic origin possible. Six family practices in 3 UK cities (Aberdeen, Leeds, and London) generated a total random sample of 6,000 adults. The mailed questionnaire included demographic items, chronic pain identification, and intensity questions, the S-LANSS, the Level of Expressed Needs questionnaire, and the Neuropathic Pain Scale. With a corrected response rate of 52%, the prevalence of any chronic pain was 48% and the prevalence of pain of predominantly neuropathic origin was 8%. Respondents with this chronic neuropathic pain were significantly more likely to be female, slightly older, no longer married, living in council rented accommodation, unable to work, have no educational qualifications, and be smokers than all other respondents. Multiple logistic regression modeling found that pain of predominantly neuropathic origin was independently associated with older age, gender, employment (being unable to work), and lower educational attainment. Respondents with this pain type also reported significantly greater pain intensity, higher scores on the NPS, higher levels of expressed need, and longer duration of pain. This is the first estimate of the prevalence and distribution of pain of predominantly neuropathic origin in the general population, using a previously validated and reliable data collection instrument. Chronic pain with neuropathic features appears to be more common in the general population than previously suggested. This type of pain is more severe than other chronic pain but distributed similarly throughout sociodemographic groups.

                Author and article information

                1Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Hospital Universitário, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
                2Sociedade Brasileira para o Estudo da Dor, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                3Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
                4Equipe de Controle da Dor Disciplina de Anestesiologia Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Laboratório Sujeito e Corpo (SUCOR) do Instituto de Psicologia da USP, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                5Escola de Cancerologia Celestino Bourroul da Fundação Antônio Prudente de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                6Serviço de Anestesiologia e Clinica de Dor Oncológica do GRUPO COI, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
                7Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Centro de Treinamento de Anestesiologia, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Parisa Gazerani

                Pain Res Manag
                Pain Res Manag
                Pain Research & Management
                26 September 2017
                : 2017
                5634600 10.1155/2017/4643830
                Copyright © 2017 Juliana Barcellos de Souza et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: Sociedade Brasileira para o Estudo da Dor
                Research Article


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