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Women and Men Face Off: Who Can Stand the Pain?
Date:10/19/2009

d men and should be taken seriously no matter what the gender," said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director of HealthyWomen. "Our new campaign is aimed at teaching people with fibromyalgia how to understand and communicate about their pain, by learning from others who live with and effectively manage the condition as well as from medical experts in the field."

Some Similarities When Seeking Help

While perceptions of chronic pain differ, women and men do show similarities in their response to treating chronic pain. Both genders reported in the survey that they visited a health care professional to discuss their symptoms within three months of experiencing chronic pain (65% women, 63% men)(1). The top reasons for these visits also were similar: the ongoing presence of pain was the most significant reason cited (74% women, 70% men)(1), followed by intensity of the pain (58% women, 54% men)(1), and impact of the pain on work (38% women, 34% men)(1) and relationships (27% women, 20% men)(1).

Chronic pain such as fibromyalgia can have a debilitating effect on people's lives, impairing their ability to participate in everyday activities, including fun and work, and compromising personal relationships(6). Characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain and tenderness, fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by morning stiffness, poor sleep and fatigue(2).

About the Survey(1)

The survey was conducted online by Impulse Research among 1,021 men and women, age 18 and over in the United States, who self-identified as suffering from chronic pain (including 16% with fibromyalgia) and experienced persistent pain for a period of 3 months or more, to assess their perceptions and experiences with chronic pain. The research was conducted in August 2009. The maximum expected sample error rate for a simple random sample of this size is plus or minus three percentage points. The survey was commission
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SOURCE HealthyWomen
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