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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Aug;44(2):239-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.08.014.

Prevalence, characteristics, and factors associated with chronic pain with and without neuropathic characteristics in São Luís, Brazil.

Author information

1
Pain Research Group, Federal University of Maranhão, São Luís, Brazil. enfermeira_erica@yahoo.com.br

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Chronic pain (CP) with and without neuropathic characteristics is a public health problem. This is the first population-based study in South America, and the third in the world, to use the Douleur Neuropathique 4 Questions (DN4) tool in epidemiologic studies.

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives were to estimate the prevalence and associated factors of CP with and without neuropathic characteristics in São Luís, Brazil.

METHODS:

We surveyed 1597 people. The DN4 questionnaire was applied. Poisson regression was used to analyze the risk factors.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of CP was 42%, and 10% had CP with neuropathic characteristics (CPNC). The results showed that female sex and age ≥30 years were associated with an increased prevalence of CP (P<0.001) and education ≥12 years with a reduction in the prevalence of CP. The sensations listed in the DN4 were more common in people with CPNC and most frequent were pins and needles (87.9%). The cephalic region (36%) and limbs (51%) were the locations most affected. Most respondents felt pain between six months and four years (51.6%), with daily frequency (45%). Pain intensity, the impediments caused by pain, and sadness were more prevalent in people who had CPNC (P<0.001). Health status was regular for most, 50.9% did not know the cause of their pain, 64.1% used drugs, and only 7% had consulted with a pain specialist. Dissatisfaction with treatment was reported by 55%.

CONCLUSION:

CP with and without neuropathic characteristics is a public health problem in Brazil, with high prevalence and great influence on people's daily lives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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