About The Canadian Pain Strategy
The Problem of Pain in Canada
- 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from chronic pain daily
- Children are not spared with 2% of boys and almost 6% of girls between 12 and 17 years of age report chronic pain 
- Pain is a major concern for older adults because of its high prevalence – estimated to be as high as 65% for those living in the community and up to 80% of older adults living in long-term care facilities
- Chronic pain costs more than cancer , heart disease and HIV combined with direct health care costs of $6 billion
- Productivity costs related to job loss and sick days are estimated to be $55 TO $60 billion per year
- Veterinarians get five times more training in pain than people doctors and three times more training than nurses
- Chronic pain is associated with the worst quality of life as compared with other chronic diseases such as chronic lung or heart disease
- There is double the risk of suicide as compared with people without chronic pain
- Schopflocher, D., R. Jovey, et al. (2010). "The Burden of Pain in Canada, results of a Nanos Survey." Pain Res Manage: In Press.
- Joe McAllister, The Medical Post - January 26, 2011. "Statistics Canada, 2007/08 Community Health Survey, 24 month file."
- Hadjistavropoulos, T., S. Gibson, et al. (2010). Pain in older persons : a brief clinical guide. Chronic Pain Management: A Clinical Guide. M. E. Lynch, K. D. Craig and P. W. H. Peng. Oxford, UK, Wiley-Blackwell: 311-318.
- Watt-Watson, J., M. McGillion, et al. (2008). "A survey of prelicensure pain curricula in health science faculties in Canadian universities." Pain Res Manage.
- Tang, N. and C. Crane (2006). "Suicidality in chronic pain: review of the prevalence, risk factors and psychological links." Psychol Med 36: 575-586.
Barriers to Better Pain Management
1. Attitudes: a lack of understanding that chronic pain is not just a symptom, but a chronic disesase;
2. Lack of information: for pain sufferers to self-manage their own health;
3. Access: if often limited or not available;
4. Lack of knowledge: primary care physicians and other front-line care providers lack pain management knowledge and don't have access to support services including - physicians, nurses and allied health personnel (e.g. psychology, physiotherapy), specializing in pain medicine;
5. Education: a lack of undergraduate education across health disciplines in pain management;
6. Lack of identification: the inability to identify chronic pain as the primary disease/condition for seeking health care resources through the existing data sources in Ministry of Health - Medical Services, hospital and community data sources in Canada; and,
7. Resources: a lack of resources and education needed to identify and effectively treat pain in long-term care facilities and in the community.