1 in 3 Canadians now living with chronic pain



    New comprehensive population survey of Canadians confirms that pain is a
    mounting problem, with impacts extending into Canadians' work life,
    relationships and emotional health.

    TORONTO, Nov. 7 /CNW/ - Highlights of a new comprehensive population
survey has revealed that one in three (33%) Canadians now live with moderate
to severe pain as an ongoing part of their lives. One in six (16%) live with
constant pain, and one in five (20%) experience pain daily.
    "This research allows us to grasp the immense scope of the problem that
pain is causing within Canadian society," said Dr. Barry Sessle, President of
the Canadian Pain Society. "It is reaching never-before-seen prevalence(1) in
the general population, and is clearly affecting almost every part of the
lives of Canadians - from work and productivity, to emotional health and
self-esteem, to family relationships."
    For the study, SES Research randomly surveyed 2,000 Canadians across the
country, from which an additional 300 in-depth interviews were conducted with
individuals who were identified with moderate to severe chronic pain. The
in-depth interviews focused on understanding the impact that living with pain
played on their lives.
    "Pain is clearly having an enormous impact upon the lives of Canadians,"
said Nikita Nanos, President of SES research, who conducted the study on
behalf of the Canadian Pain Society. "A full third of individuals with
moderate to severe pain said that they had lost their job as a result of it,
and half said that they had seen a reduction of income. This income loss was
pegged at an average of $12,558 over a one year period, due to their pain,"
Nanos said.
    Said Nanos: "Our study also probed into the emotional and mental health
impact that living with chronic pain can have on sufferers. We saw high
instances (38%) of depression and anxiety, as well as significant feelings of
helplessness. Pain may also be affecting family relationships - 30% of
individuals with moderate to severe chronic pain felt that their families
didn't understand how pain was affecting their lives."
    "As experts trying to help patients with pain, we are very concerned that
Canada's healthcare system is not equipped to deal with the scope of this
problem," said Dr. Sessle. "Indeed, a study by the Canadian Pain Society this
past year has documented that access to effective pain management is poor,
with many chronic pain patients in Canada having to wait years before they can
be seen at a proper pain treatment program. Compounding this, evidence was
presented earlier this week that Canadian veterinarians receive an average of
over three times as much designated pain training as doctors, nurses,
dentists, and other healthcare professionals. When you consider that many
healthcare professionals chose their careers out of a desire to alleviate
suffering, it is ironic that - based on this finding - our pets may be getting
better pain treatment than human patients."

    A summary of the report highlights is attached, or can be found at
www.painexplained.ca. Painexplained.ca is a new campaign supported by the
Canadian Pain Society, Canadian Pain Coalition, the Canadian Pain Foundation
and other partner groups, companies and individuals. The campaign seeks to
raise awareness and promote better prevention and management of all types of
pain in Canada.

    About the Survey

    The Canadian Pain Survey was conducted by an independent market research
company under the auspices of the Canadian Pain Society (CPS) and in
association with an Advisory Board of leading experts from across Canada who
specialize in the research and management of chronic pain. It was supported by
an educational grant from Purdue Pharma Canada.
    Full results of the Canadian Pain Survey will be available early in 2008.

    The Canadian Pain Society represents Canadian health professionals,
scientists and others dedicated to improving understanding, treatment and
education about pain issues and management practices in Canada.

    
    (1) 1999 study (Moulin et al) indicated 29% prevalence, 2004 study
        (Boulanger et al) 25% prevalence
    


    Executive Summary

    SES Research's study on chronic pain in Canada revealed that one in three
Canadians (33%) had severe or moderate chronic pain. Forty percent of
Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain said that their pain makes them
feel helpless, while thirty percent believe their family does not understand
how pain affects them. Research also showed that pain has had a significant
impact upon the Canadian workforce. To follow are the key findings.

    General Population Survey

    
    -   Two in five Canadians experienced pain on the day of the study -
        Asked when the last time they experienced pain was, two in five
        Canadians (39%) said they had experienced pain on the day of the
        study interview. Fourteen percent of Canadians said that they had
        experienced pain in the past week but not on the day of the study,
        while seven percent said that it had been more than a week, but less
        than a month since they experienced pain.

    -   Nearly half of Canadians experienced pain at least several times a
        week - Sixteen percent of Canadians said that they experienced pain
        at all times. Twenty percent of Canadians said that they experienced
        pain daily, while 12% said that they experienced pain several times a
        week.

    -   One third of Canadians have moderate or severe chronic pain -
        Canadians were asked to indicate the intensity of their pain on a
        scale from 0 to 10, where "0" meant "no pain at all" and "10" meant
        the worst pain imaginable. Thirty-three percent of Canadians
        indicated that their pain was between 5 and 10.

    Canadians with Severe or Moderate Chronic Pain - In-depth Survey

    -   Two in five Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain feel
        helpless - Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain were asked
        to indicate on a scale from 0 to 10 whether they agreed with the
        statement "being in pain makes me feel helpless". Forty percent of
        Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain gave scores between
        7 and 10.

    -   Three in ten Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain believe
        their family does not understand how pain affects them - Canadians
        with moderate or severe chronic pain were asked to indicate on a
        scale from 0 to 10 whether they agreed with the statement "My family
        does not understand how my pain affects my life". Thirty percent of
        Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain gave scores between
        7 and 10.

    -   Impact of moderate or severe chronic pain on the Canadians
        workplace - Thirty-three percent of Canadians with moderate or severe
        chronic pain said they had lost a job as a result of their pain.
        Nearly half of Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain (47%)
        said they had reduced their job responsibilities as a result of their
        pain. Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain were also asked
        to indicate on a scale from 0 to 10 whether they agreed with the
        statement "I fear my pain will cause me to lose my job".
        Twenty-five percent of Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain
        gave scores between 7 and 10.

    -   Impact pain on the income of Canadians with moderate or severe
        chronic pain - Half of Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain
        (49%) said that their pain had resulted in a reduction of income.
        When a Canadian with moderate or severe pain lost income, they lost,
        on average, $12,558 dollars in income over a one year period because
        of their pain.

    -   Four in ten Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain
        experienced anxiety and/or depression - Thirty-eight percent of
        Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain said they had
        experienced anxiety and/or depression as a result of their pain.

    -   More than half of Canadians with moderate or severe chronic pain took
        prescription pain medicine - Fifty-five percent of Canadians with
        moderate or severe chronic pain said they were currently taking
        prescription pain medicine, while forty-five percent of Canadians
        with moderate or severe chronic pain said they were not currently
        taking prescription pain medicine.
    

    If you have any questions please contact Nik Nanos by telephone at (613)
234-4666 ext. 237 or by email at nnanos@sesresearch.com.

    Methodology - Note to Reader

    The purpose of public opinion research is to identify perceptions within
reliable and acceptable statistical margins of accuracy. To that end, SES was
retained to conduct a public opinion survey of Canadians on behalf of the
Canadian Pain Society.
    Between October 10 - 22, 2007, SES conducted a total of 2,000 random
telephone interviews across Canada. Interviews were conducted in both official
languages. Among the sample of 2,000 Canadians interviewed, individuals with
moderate or severe chronic pain were qualified for a further in-depth
interview. Three hundred interviews were conducted for the indepth study.
    At the direction of the client, a series of oversamples were created in
order to increase the accuracy of the regional results. To follow are the
regional oversamples and their corresponding margins of accuracy. The final
national percentages for the short screening survey were weighted to reflect
their true proportion to actual Canadian population.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Actual   Percentage  Proportion
                     Population     of       of Final
                      (census    National    Weighted  Oversample  Margin of
    Region              2006)   Population    Sample   Interviews  Accuracy
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Atlantic Canada   2,284,779     7.3%        7.4%       300       +/-5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec            7,546,131    23.9%       24.3%       400       +/-5.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario          12,160,282    38.6%       38.3%       400       +/-5.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MB/SK             2,116,558     6.7%        6.5%       300       +/-5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta           3,290,350    10.4%       10.2%       300       +/-5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British Columbia  4,113,487    13.1%       13.2%       300       +/-5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canada           31,511,587   100.0%       99.9%   2,000(*)    +/-3.0%(*)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (*) The true national weight factoring oversample, adjusted for the
        Canadian population results in a base sample of 1,047 cases. This
        yields a margin of accuracy of 13.0%, 19 times out of 20.
    

    Respondents who had moderate or severe chronic pain, were qualified for
the in-depth interview if they met the following criteria:

    
    -   they rated the pain intensity when they last experienced pain as at
        least "5" on a numeric rating scale where "0" equaled no pain at all
        and "10" equaled "the worst pain imaginable"; and

    -   respondents who rated the pain intensity when they last experienced
        pain as "4" were asked if the reason for their rating was because of
        effective treatment, those who responded "yes" and met all other
        criteria were also screened for the in-depth interview.
    

    Respondents who met all the screening requirements in the general
populace questionnaire were asked to participate in the Moderate or Severe
Chronic Pain Survey.
    Ten percent of the fieldwork was monitored as part of the firm's quality
and data integrity procedures. Validation and testing of key demographic
cohorts indicate that the sample profiles were representative of the
populations within acceptable margins of statistical accuracy.
    The research was registered with the Marketing Research and Intelligence
Association, Canada's governing body for market and public opinion research.





For further information:

For further information: Dr. Barry Sessle, President, Canadian Pain
Society, (905) 668-9545, Barry.Sessle@dentistry.utoronto.ca; Nikita Nanos,
President, SES Research, (613) 234-4666 ext. 237, nnanos@sesresearch.com;
Ingrid Thompson, Campaign Coordinator, (416) 792-0431,
Ingrid@painexplained.ca

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Canadian Pain Society

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