A Canadian Survey of Self-Management Strategies and Satisfaction with Ability to Control Pain: Comparison of Community Dwelling Adults with Neuropathic Pain versus Adults with Non-neuropathic Chronic Pain

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Individuals with chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics (CPNC) describe a different pain experience compared with those with chronic pain without neuropathic characteristics (CP).


The aim of this study was to describe and compare pain, self-management strategies, and satisfaction with ability to control pain between adults with CPNC versus CP.


Seven hundred and ten community-dwelling adults with chronic pain participated in a cross-sectional survey.


CPNC was defined as a score ≥12 on the Self-Report Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs Pain Scale. Self-management and pain control was compared between participants with CPNC and CP using frequency, percent, relative risk (RR), odds ratios (ORs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Participants with CPNC (188/710) reported lower socioeconomic status, poorer general health, and more intense, frequent, and widespread pain. They were more likely to use prescription medications to manage pain (adjusted OR = 2.25, CI = 1.47–3.42). They were more likely to use potentially negative strategies to ease the emotional burden of living with chronic pain, including substance use (adjusted OR = 1.58, CI = 1.06–2.35), denial (adjusted OR = 2.21, CI = 1.49–3.28), and behavioral disengagement (adjusted OR = 1.68, CI = 1.16–2.45), and they were more likely to be completely dissatisfied with their ability to control pain (RR = 1.77, CI = 1.21–2.58).


Individuals with CPNC have distinct pain and self-management experiences compared with those with CP that may lead to negative coping strategies and dissatisfaction with ability to control pain. Therefore, self-management assessment and support should be tailored by pain condition.

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