The economics associated with persistent pain

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2011 Jun;5(2):127-30. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e3283458fa9.


Purpose of review: This review aims to assess the economic impact of inadequate, inappropriate and ineffective treatments of persistent pain from the perspective of the individual, their families and communities, healthcare systems, economies and societies in general.

Recent findings: The economic impact of persistent and chronic pain poses a substantial burden on individual patients, their families, employers, economies and societies in general. It is recognized that the impact of persistent pain is greater than most other health conditions, due to its effects on rates of absenteeism, reduced levels of productivity and increased risk of leaving the labour market, as well as the costs to the healthcare system and other government agencies.

Summary: The burden of suffering that pain imposes on individuals and the enormous costs that society has to bear as a result clearly demonstrate that policy makers at governmental level and commissioners, and healthcare decision-makers alike should adopt a broad, strategic and coherent perspective in determining issues relating to service provision and resource allocation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Efficiency
  • Health Services / economics*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Pain / economics*
  • Personnel Turnover / economics
  • Personnel Turnover / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sick Leave / economics
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data
  • Sickness Impact Profile*