Prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics in the Moroccan general population: a national survey

Pain Med. 2013 Feb;14(2):287-92. doi: 10.1111/pme.12009. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


Objective: We conducted a telephonic survey to determine the prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics (NC) in the Moroccan general population.

Design: We performed a large nationwide telephonic survey based upon a random sampling of households in the 16 administrative regions of Morocco to determine the prevalence of chronic pain with NC in the general population. We used a stratified sampling taking into account the number of residents in each region. A sample of households was drawn for each of the 16 regions using systematic sampling.

Outcome measures: A questionnaire aimed at identifying chronic pain (defined as daily pain for at least 3 months), evaluating its intensity, duration, and body locations was used. The Moroccan validated version of DN4 questionnaire was used to identify neuropathic characteristics.

Results: A total of 5,328 respondents participated in the survey. 21% of the respondents (1,074) (95%CI: 19,9-22,2), reported chronic daily pain for more than 3 months. The point prevalence of chronic pain with NC, was 10.6% (95% CI: 9,75-11,45). The prevalence was higher in women and individuals older than 60. Chronic pain with NC was significantly more prevalent in women, elderly, illiterate respondents, and respondents from lower social class. It was more frequently located in the lower limbs, and its intensity and duration were higher in comparison with chronic pain without neuropathic characteristics.

Conclusion: Chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics is probably more prevalent in the general population than was previously thought and is generally more severe than other chronic pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morocco / epidemiology
  • Neuralgia / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Spinal Injuries / epidemiology
  • Young Adult