Pain management proving a real problem

Pain management and community pharmacy

Australians have one of the world’s highest instances of regular pain a new international survey reveals.

A survey across 14 countries found that 97% of Australians say they suffer from body aches, with 68% claiming to experience the pain weekly.

This was the highest level among the countries included in the Global Pain Index, sponsored by GSK.

Among the most startling findings were those revealing the dramatic impact pain has on people’s love lives, and on their familial relationships.

Two thirds of parents included in the survey said they felt they would do a better job as a parent if it wasn’t for body pain. Just over half said they had difficulty picking up their children, while 39% said their pain added to the annoyance they felt with their children.

Former PDSA national president, and current vice-president of the Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP) John Bell said the findings were a stark reminder of the impact that pain can have on people’s lives.

Speaking at the Australian release of the results in Sydney Mr Bell said that for health professionals the fact that more than two-thirds of people said they suffer this kind of pain every week is the key message from the survey.

“And it’s not just physical: it’s the mental, social and emotional aspects of pain that are very much underestimated,” he said.

“The question is how can we better manage this? People self-medicate, but are they choosing the right product? Are they using it correctly? Are they looking at the correct non-medication options such as exercise?”

“In particular, the findings emphasise that managing their pain very effectively is very important for parents and grandparents,” Mr Bell said. “How it affects individuals and carers is important, as there often is a ripple effect to their family if the person themselves has no control over their pain”.

The study team surveyed 7000 adults from 14 countries across four continents.


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