Over 4 out of 10 Canadians have experienced chronic pain and a staggering 90 percent have purchased a pain medication in the past year, according to a new nationwide survey.
The survey found that Canadians are conflicted about popping pills for pain relief. A large majority (71%) say they prefer oral pain medications, but 74 percent also say they try to avoid taking pain pills whenever they can.
The online survey of 1,510 Canadians was conducted last month by the Angus Reid Forum, a marketing and research firm commissioned by Delivra Inc., a biomedical company. The results were statistically weighted according to age, gender and region to ensure a representative sample of Canadians.
From a geographic standpoint, chronic pain is most prevalent in Manitoba (58%) and least prevalent in Quebec (32%). Manitobans are also the most likely to reach for an oral pain medication (87%).
Other highlights from the survey:
- 43% of Canadians have experienced chronic pain.
- 56% have watched a loved one live with chronic pain.
- 32% of Canadians have missed work due to pain.
- 25% say pain has affected their social lives.
- 43% have visited a family doctor or specialist in the past year due to pain.
- 15% have visited a hospital emergency room in the past year due to pain.
Delivra, which is introducing a new line of pain relief creams, appears to have its work cut out in changing national attitudes about how to treat pain. Only 9% of Canadians opt for a topical pain relief cream as their go-to treatment. And only 17% give over-the-counter creams high grades for pain relief. That compares to 57% who give pain pills high grades for efficacy.
At the same time, however, over half of the Canadians surveyed (51%) said they have concerns about adverse health effects caused by oral pain medicines, which include prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen.