Silver Hill survey explores toll of chronic pain
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, September 17, 2015
Chronic pain leaves the majority of sufferers with feelings of depression and hopelessness, according to a survey completed jointly by New Canaan’s Silver Hill Hospital and Yahoo.
The survey shows the majority of 900 respondents to the survey believe critical aspects of their lives from relationships to their careers suffer as a result of ongoing pain, with 39 percent describing the quality of their lives as poor or not very good.
The drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital released the survey results to coincide with national pain awareness month in September.
Seddon Savage, medical director of the Chronic Pain & Recovery Center at Silver Hill Hospital, said the survey underscores that physical pain can detract from psychological well-being and the need to raise awareness about effective methods of treatment.
“This survey strongly suggests that people with chronic pain need better access to comprehensive, safe and effective treatment that addresses not only their pain, but associated problems, such as anxiety and depression, and that helps them fully engage in valued life activities,” said Seddon Savage, medical director of the Chronic Pain & Recovery Center at Silver Hill Hospital. “The fact that over 50 percent of respondents report that pain treatment has been only minimally or not at all effective, yet 60 percent say they have never consulted with a pain specialist, indicates significant barriers to optimum pain care.”
Respondents of the survey indicated they dealt with the negative perceptions of others as a result of their chronic pain. Respondents said they view others as associating their condition with being unproductive (49 percent); pretending or faking (53 percent); and complaining (75 percent). Thirty percent said others are skeptical or critical of their pain and almost 50 percent said their significant other feels they sometimes exaggerate their pain.
The Silver Hill Hospital-Yahoo Health survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey. Nine hundred people who self-identified as having experienced serious, continual pain during the past six months or longer participated.
Other findings of the survey included:
52 percent percent (434) of the respondents said they thought about the pain frequently, while 30 percent (252 people) said they thought of it constantly.
73 percent of the respondents (530 people) said because of their pain they had little interest or pleasure in doing anything, and 71 percent (510 people) said their pain left them nervous, anxious, or on edge.
52 percent of 663 people said pain interfered with their ability to parent.
70 percent of 607 people responding said being able to manage pain free of medications was a primary goal.
138 of 573 people (24 percent), responding to a question about specific behaviors, acknowledged taking a higher-than-recommended dosage of medication to manage their pain. There were 106 people (18 percent), who reported using medications not prescribed to them.