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HERDIN Record #: PCHRD12020117173726 Submitted: 01 February 2012 Modified: 10 January 2019

Prevalence and treatment of chronic pain in the Philippines.

Henry Lu,
Francis Javier

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Background: There are currently no data on the prevalence and incidence of chronic pain in the Philippines. Objective: This study was undertaken to determine the incidence and prevalence of chronic pain in the general adult population of the Philippines. It also aimed to establish the demographic profile of chronic pain sufferers, identify the causes and intensity of chronic pain, and understand the impact of chronic pain on daily living and quality of life. This study also explored current treatment practices for patients with chronic pain, their levels of satisfaction with treatment, and barriers to obtaining appropriate treatment. Methodology: The study was conducted in the Philippines via a quantitative sample survey that involved face-to-face interviews using a two-phase structured questionnaire. Results: The survey showed an overall prevalence of moderate-to-severe chronic pain (chronic pain M+S) of 10.4% of the general adult population, with an annual incidence rate of 3.4%. Chronic pain M+S was more commonly reported by women and the elderly. The most common locations of pain were the knees, back and lower back. Daily routine was affected in about half of the sufferers, but they had rational attitudes to pain and positive views of medical treatment. High consultation fees discouraged nearly two-thirds of sufferers from seeking medical advice for their pain. Despite the availability of effective pain treatments, a large proportion of patients taking prescription painkillers reported that the medication was less than effective, indicating a large gap between achievable pain relief targets and patients' expectations of pain medications. Conclusion: The Philippines has a relatively high prevalence of chronic pain M+S. There is a need for improved pain management to ensure that patients with chronic pain receive appropriate and effective treatment.

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication Date
April-June 2011
LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Fulltext Print Format
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Fulltext pdf (Request Document)



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