San Diego—Despite public policy emphasizing the importance of addressing chronic pain, primary care physicians report feeling unprepared and less than satisfied in managing patients with chronic pain, according to survey results presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
Primary care physicians (PCPs) in general reported higher levels of satisfaction with the care of patients who had congestive heart failure, chronic diabetes or terminal cancer than with the care of patients who had chronic pain. Alcoholism was the only condition that PCPs felt less satisfied treating than chronic pain, explained lead investigator Thomas Chelimsky, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland.
The findings are based on results of a nine-question survey that assessed the attitudes, practices and confidence of 83 PCPs regarding the management of chronic pain. The respondents were in practice for an average of 14.4 years and were treating a mean of 21.3 patients with chronic pain each month.
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