A recent study has revealed that over 20% of those who suffer from chronic pain do not consult a physician to relieve the same. The results of the study only highlight the unfulfilled need for more effective pain management. Management of pain is assuming a leading place in health care delivery following rating of pain to be the fifth most vital sign by the American Pain Society.
The study authors have further stated that such a goal to identify silent sufferers cannot be achieved without improved physician education and increased participation of the media in spreading awareness about pain.
The study was conducted among a group of 3, 575 people out of which 2,211-study participants reported chronic pain, ranging to more than three months. Surprisingly, only 77.6% of the affected individuals actually reported pain sensation to their physician.
Young men who experienced chronic pain were less likely to reveal their suffering to the doctor. The location of the pain was found to be irrelevant to the pain report. In addition, there is also a documented increase in the number of patients who are prescribed analgesic medication.
Several factors such as the tolerance of the individual, impact of pain on the functionality of the person, previous pain care experiences, lack of available medical insurance, health care barriers and supposed lack of effective treatments could play major role in refraining from pain treatment. The results of the study can be found in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal.
Pain has a significant social impact as revealed by reports of interference with general activities and sleep. Nearly 22.5% of those who had not reported their pain to the health care provider had interference levels comparable to vocal pain sufferers.
'Identification of patients in pain is essential to successful pain care. Despite significant efforts, successful pain care clearly is not happening. Physicians have a responsibility to ask their patients about chronic pain, concluded Dr. Barbara Yawn, the study author.