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Disabil Health J. 2015 Jul;8(3):452-6. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 14.

Utilization and patients' perceptions of the effectiveness of pain treatments in multiple sclerosis: A cross-sectional survey.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address: ehde@uw.edu.
2
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.
3
Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle, Seattle, WA, USA.
4
River Valley Psychological Services, Issaquah, WA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although chronic pain is common among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), little is known about the utilization and patients' perception of the effectiveness of pain treatments in MS.

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives were to: (1) identify specific treatments currently used for pain relief by adults with MS; (2) examine patients' perceptions of the effectiveness of each of these treatments; and (3) examine rates of health care utilization, specifically provider and emergency department visits, for pain.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey.

METHODS:

One hundred twenty-five community-dwelling participants with MS and pain completed a postal survey that measured demographics, MS disease, pain, pain treatments, perceived effectiveness of treatments, and health care utilization.

RESULTS:

The majority (89.6%) of the sample reported use of a variety of and multiple pain treatments (range = 1-19, median = 9.0, mean = 9.0, SD = 4.2); few were rated as providing pain relief. Non-prescription pain relievers were the most commonly reported treatment. Physical treatment modalities were also common. The treatments that were reported by patients to provide the greatest pain relief, such as hypnosis, nerve blocks, and marijuana, were not those that were the most frequently used. Overall, 75% reported at least one visit to a provider for pain in the past six months; participants made, on average, 9.7 visits for pain during this same time period. Emergency department visits explicitly for pain were reported by 11% of respondents.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that pain is inadequately treated from the perspective of persons with MS and results in a high level of health care utilization.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic pain; Health care delivery; Multiple sclerosis; Pain

PMID:
25899795
PMCID:
PMC4464976
DOI:
10.1016/j.dhjo.2015.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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