Medical Treatment Not Sought...(very good article)...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjfms, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    ...by Many Chronic Pain Patients

    By Will Boggs, MD

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Feb 24 - More than 20% of patients with chronic pain do not seek physician care for their pain, according to a report in the February Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

    "We need to get over what for many people appeared to be the 'don't ask, don't tell' mentality about chronic pain," Dr. Barbara P. Yawn from Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester, Minnesota told Reuters Health. "We can't cure everything, but as a physician I would like to try to help with a problem that makes it difficult for my patients to sleep, work, or play."

    Dr. Yawn and colleagues sought to determine the proportion and characteristics of patients with chronic pain who do not seek medical care for that pain and to assess whether such patients have unmet pain care needs.

    Among 3575 individuals who responded to a mailed questionnaire, 2302 reported having chronic pain 2221 answered relevant questions. The investigators found that 497 of these patients (22.4%) said that they had not informed their physicians about their pain.

    Of these silent pain sufferers, 70.6% had moderate or severe pain, 48.9% had pain for eight days or more per month, the authors report, and 40.6% met both of these criteria.

    About one quarter of them reported at least moderate interference with general activity and sleep, the results indicate. Vocal pain sufferers were more likely to report interference with general activity and sleep.

    The survey showed that 78.9% of the silent sufferers used over-the-counter pain medications (compared with 56.3% of vocal sufferers), but only 5% used prescribed pain medications (compared with 35.2% of vocal sufferers).

    Silent sufferers made fewer health care visits per year than their vocal counterparts (5.2 vs 8.6), the report indicates.

    Educational and employment status had little impact on whether patients were silent or vocal about their pain. Men were more likely to be silent than women, the investigators say, and younger patients were more likely to be silent than older patients.

    "I think we need to reassure our patients (probably by example) that we will listen to concerns about chronic pain and take those concerns seriously," Dr. Yawn said, and "that we do have alternatives to the 'stronger' pain medications that can cause side effects and have the potential for addiction."

    "I think it is important to determine if the chronic pain is interfering with work, play, or sleep and if it is, try to help," Dr. Yawn commented. "We also need to know when patients are able to deal with the pain on their own and don't need us--but I would prefer they have the confidence to ask us when it is interfering with activities they want to do."

    Dr. Yawn added, "We need to have our state Boards of Medical Examiners be very careful in the disciplining of physicians who treat people with chronic pain and help us learn to deal with this appropriately instead of looking for anyone that uses narcotics/opiates for one or two patients on a regular basis."

    From Medscape






    [This Message was Edited on 02/26/2006]
  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Good article! Thanks for sharing.

    This doctor said "I think we need to reassure our patients (probably by example) that we will listen to concerns about chronic pain and take those concerns seriously ..... I would prefer they have the confidence to ask us when it is interfering with activities they want to do." OK, she wants her patients to tell her when they are in pain, but I wonder if she would be willing to prescribe them anything to help them???!!!

    And ..."that we do have alternatives to the 'stronger' pain medications that can cause side effects and have the potential for addiction." I wish she would have given examples in this article of what they are.

    And ... I most certainly agree with Dr. Yawn that "We need to have our state Boards of Medical Examiners be very careful in the disciplining of physicians who treat people with chronic pain and help us learn to deal with this appropriately instead of looking for anyone that uses narcotics/opiates for one or two patients on a regular basis." Most doctors are running scared now and are afaid of prescribing narcotics in fear that they will be disciplined and/or have their licenses taken away.





  3. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    ...jlh and lisianthus,

    I think it is a small step in the right direction. I am one of the silent suffers for the most part due to I know the physician will probably not give anything other than NSAIDS...and that I hate to feel like I am complaining....LOL. I am working on changing that for myself. :)

    I think every person has their own personal reasons for what they do and do not tell a physicians. I think the author is trying to get the point across that people need to tell their physicians what is going on with their life. That open and honest communication is key to a good patient/physician relationship. Just my opinion.

    I do not feel the article was putting blame on either the patient or the physician. Just stating that this is a problem and it needs to be taken as such.

    Thanks Karen