The International Association for the Study of Pain estimates that 20% of people worldwide live with chronic pain, with low- and middle-income countries reporting a higher chronic pain prevalence of around 33%. A recent scientific review by researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome has now revealed that chronic pain sufferers are increasingly becoming victims of stigma.
Stigma is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a mark of disgrace, shame or disapproval that results in discrimination and exclusion from the community. When patients suffer from stigmatized conditions such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, and chronic pain, they are much less likely to seek medical treatment. Furthermore, outcomes for patients with stigmatized conditions tend to be worse compared to nonstigmatized conditions, even when they seek treatment.
In most cases, people experience chronic pain due to an injury or medical condition, with joint pain from either advanced age, infection or injury being the most common cause of chronic pain in America.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine Tina Doshi, stated that society “really devalues” individuals with chronic pain.
The Sapienza University of Rome researchers outlined several factors that play a significant role in the stigmatization of chronic pain. For starters, the absence of tissue damage or solid medical evidence to explain the cause of pain often leads to the stigmatization of chronic pain patients. Furthermore, the subjectivity and invisibility of chronic pain mean that some people may downplay the severity of a patient’s chronic pain, especially if they aren’t injured or suffering from a medical condition.
The researchers found that chronic pain seeps into every facet of life, and chronic pain patients often feel stigma at work, home and in most social settings as the people they regularly interact with simply do not know what it is like to live with chronic pain.
Such chronic pain stigmatization can lead to poor workplace relationships at the office, especially when chronic pain forces an individual to call in sick regularly. According to the researchers, migraines are among the most common causes of missed work in people aged 50 and below and are also one of the most stigmatized medical conditions.
On the other hand, employees who chose to go to work despite being in pain were more likely to have reduced productivity and a higher chance of burnout. The review revealed that this stigma is also present in medical settings, with clinicians often underassessing patient pain levels and undertreating their pain.
For some patients, this stigma often leads to social withdrawal, insomnia, reduced self-esteem and even the development of depression, with chronic pain sufferers being two times more likely to die from suicide. The researchers noted that physicians should take complaints of pain seriously and ensure they provide the necessary treatment to chronic pain patients.
The race to make better chronic pain treatments is on, and entities such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE America: IGC) are making headway that could bring cannabinoids to the forefront of hospital-based pain management.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IGC
BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to millions of social media followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.
To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “Biotech” to 844-397-5787 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information, please visit https://www.biomedwire.com
San Francisco, California
BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.