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June 2022

The prevalence of pain in a disabled population

Author(s): Lawton, D., Hirst, M.

Journal/Book: Soc Sci Med. 1996; 42: The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England OX5 1GB. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 1457-1464.

Abstract: An estimated 1.7 million disabled adults (95% CI +/- 74,000), living in private households in Great Britain, reported pain symptoms which severely affected their daily activities. That is, the pain they experienced is so severe, unrelieved and recurring as to limit or prevent their ability to perform ordinary, everyday, activities. They represent 30% of disabled adults suggesting that pain is a substantial cause of disability and a major public health problem. The prevalence of severely limiting pain increased with age declining beyond age 55 though younger disabled adults, and women generally, reported more severe pain symptoms. Pain was associated with disabilities which commonly have a physical origin and directly affect bodily movement, compounding the problems of daily living for this population. Three-quarters of those whose lives were limited by pain said the worst bouts of pain occurred at least once a week; half took analgesic medicine every day. More than nine out of ten disabled people suffering pain had recent contact with primary and community health or hospital services.

Note: Article M Astin, Univ York, Social Policy Res Unit, York YO1 5DD, N Yorkshire, England

Keyword(s): chronic pain; disability; services; GENERAL-POPULATION; DISABILITY

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