Survey of pain among veterans in Western New York

Pain Manag Nurs. 2006 Mar;7(1):12-22. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2005.12.001.


Recent emphasis on pain and its impact on the health and well-being of individuals evoked the interest of health care providers about services needed for effective and efficient pain management. This study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of using a mailed survey to determine the prevalence, nature, and extent of pain being experienced by Western New York Veterans. The specific aims were to (1) determine the feasibility of using a mailed survey to obtain information about pain in a population of Veterans; (2) estimate the extent of pain in the sample; and (3) describe the nature and impact of the pain experienced by the respondents. A comprehensive survey was prepared by modifying preexisting, widely used pain-assessment tools to describe a Veteran group's pain experience. It was mailed to a randomly selected sample of 150 Veterans registered at a primary care clinic at the Western New York Veterans Administration Health System. A 76% response rate (n=114) was obtained. Respondents declared a wide variety of health problems, and 71% reported having pain. The average number of body parts affected was 4.4 of a possible 11. The average intensity of pain was moderate; 35% reported constant pain, and 85% reported the pain to be occurring for years. Seventy-nine respondents described their pain to be interfering with their life and well-being. Medication was the primary treatment approach and was reported as ineffective by 48%. Veterans' satisfaction with specific aspects of pain treatment was mixed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration
  • Chronic Disease
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Nurse's Role
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*