Navigation Links
Chronic pain in homeless people not managed well: Study
Date:7/21/2011

TORONTO, Ont., July 21, 2011Chronic pain is not managed well in the general population and it's an even greater challenge for homeless people, according to new research by St. Michael's Hospital.

Twenty-five per cent of Canadians say they have continuous or intermittent chronic pain lasting six months or more. The number is likely to be even higher among homeless people, in part due to frequent injuries.

Of the 152 residents of homeless shelters with chronic pain studied by Dr. Stephen Hwang, more than one-third (37 per cent) had Chronic Pain Grade IV, the highest level, indicating high intensity and high disability.

Almost half the participants (46 per cent) reported using street drugs to treat their pain and 29 per cent used alcohol, said Dr. Hwang, a physician and researcher with the hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health.

Only half (51 per cent) of the participants were being treated for their pain by a physician. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of the physicians said they had difficulty managing the patients' pain because of such things as a history of addiction, mental illness and missed appointments.

The research results were published in the online journal BMC Family Practice. Dr. Hwang said he believes it's the first study in a peer-reviewed journal to describe the severity and management of chronic pain among residents of homeless shelters.

"Our study demonstrates the need for improved approaches to the management of chronic pain in the homeless population," he said.

He believes community outreach programs may be necessary to help homeless people with chronic pain find health care. As well, health care providers who work with marginalized populations need to familiarize themselves with their patients' housing situations and routinely screen individuals who are homeless for chronic pain.

"Clinicians should also inquire about barriers to pain management such as financial ability to obtain appropriate over-the-counter and prescription medications. The adverse effects of homeless people's living and sleeping conditions should also be considered."

Dr. Hwang said that while physicians may have justifiable concerns about prescribing opiod drugs to patients with a history of substance abuse, this should not be a reason to avoid addressing chronic pain management with them.

"The answer to pain is not always simply a pill," he said, noting studies that indicate opioids such as oxycontin are often over-prescribed.

"A lot of patients expect a pill, when often what they really need is physiotherapy, which they can't afford and isn't covered by insurance."

Homeless people said that from their viewpoint, the barriers to managing their pain included the stress of living in shelters, inability to afford prescription medications and poor sleeping conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture
2. Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
3. One in Two Children Has Chronic Health Issues
4. Chronic Migraines Take a Greater Toll
5. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-Virus Link Questioned
6. Study Suggests Low-Consuming Medicare Beneficiaries With Chronic Disease Are More Costly to Program
7. Chronic Back Pain Soothed by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
8. Virus Unlikely to Cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
9. New Study: Improved Immune System with Gene-Eden, a Natural Antiviral Supplement that Targets Chronic Viruses
10. National Study Reports Staggering Spending Increases Among Seniors With Chronic Conditions Through Original Medicare - Special Needs Plan Program Offers Solution For Those In Texas
11. M. D. Anderson develops tool to measure severity of chronic graft-vs.-host disease symptoms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Eating ... a significant number of women and men with eating disorders report a history ... best predicts the development of an eating disorder. , At the 2016 ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... GrassrootsHealth published data from its D*action public ... in the GrassrootsHealth cohort with substantially higher vitamin D levels than a cohort ... states Carole Baggerly, Director of GrassrootsHealth, “the safety and benefits of vitamin ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... February 08, ... ... Co-Founder at RowdMap, Inc., will be speaking on how healthcare companies can use ... project costs, manage the health of a population and intervene and capture the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... , ... According to research by the National Association of ... be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient awareness of the lack ... campaign to inform dentists and patients about the possible lack of skills and ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 , ... ... MyDecision™ program. MyDecision™ empowers employers and organizations with the tools and information to ... combines three elements to cut the cost of providing employee healthcare benefits by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... Ill. , Feb. 8, 2016  Astellas Pharma Inc. ... announced the promotion of James Robinson as president, ... company,s operations in North and South America ... Astellas Pharma US, representing the commercial organization in ... in 2013. Masao Yoshida , who is ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016  CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTI BioPharma) ... written communication from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... placed a partial clinical hold on the clinical studies ... application for pacritinib. This clinical hold impacts part of ... and will also affect planned clinical trials. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  Redwood Scientific Technologies, ... new product designed to help women balance their hormones. ... delivery technology. Jason Cardiff , President ... be able to help the millions of women across ... the effects of imbalanced hormones. Our research and development ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: