A new survey of chronic pain patients found that life is a daily struggle for nearly all of them and many often feel they don’t get the support they need. Over two-thirds (69%) experience pain daily.
The national survey of 1,255 adults with chronic pain also found that half (50%) believe their family and friends doubt how bad their pain is. Most (55%) are reluctant to tell people they are taking prescription pain medicines and a majority (57%) says their healthcare professional is reluctant to prescribe some medications.
The poll, conducted on behalf of Teva Pharamaceuticals, also included 505 caregivers. The survey was conducted in part to help publicize an upcoming documentary on chronic pain on the Discovery Channel.
Other key findings of the survey:
- 94% of people with chronic pain feel that living with pain is a daily struggle.
- 91% say it is disruptive to their daily lives. 40% say it is very disruptive.
- 88% say they sometimes feel like a burden asking other people for help.
- 67% say their pain is a burden to their spouses.
- 56% say they are a burden their children.
- 17% say they have nobody to turn to for help.
While pain is a major component of their lives, the survey found that many pain patients are complacent about their treatment and often don’t utilize alternative care treatments.
- Only 35% use physical therapy to relieve pain and only 55% use exercise.
- 51% say their doctor has not set any goals beyond pain reduction for their treatment plan.
- 31% say they never or rarely discuss with their doctors whether their treatment plans should be changed.
Caregivers were found to play significant roles in the lives of pain patients:
- 95% of caregivers say they help pain patients with daily tasks
- 50% work with healthcare providers to develop a treatment plan for those they help.
- 40% of caregivers wish there were others who would help.
- 37% of caregivers struggle to balance their own needs with those of their loved one in pain.
The survey “Individual Burdens of Chronic Pain” is being released to coincide with the premier of “Pain Matters,” which airs November 16 on the Discovery Channel. The documentary looks at the lives of six people living with chronic pain, including a U.S. Navy veteran and a two-time Stanley Cup-winning hockey player. You can see a preview of the show here.