Advertisement

Prevalence and Characteristics of Chronic Pain in the General Population of Hong Kong

  • Wing S. Wong
    Affiliations
    Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    Search for articles by this author
  • Richard Fielding
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Richard Fielding, School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F William M. W. Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
    Affiliations
    Health Behavioral Research Group, Department of Community Medicine & Unit for Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F William M. W. Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    Centre for Psycho-Oncology Research & Training, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F William M. W. Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    Search for articles by this author
Published:September 27, 2010DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2010.07.004

      Abstract

      Western studies document the prevalence of chronic pain in the general adult population to be between 2 and 55%. Knowing the prevalence of chronic pain among Chinese populations provides important comparative perspective: To determine the prevalence of chronic pain in the general population of Hong Kong; evaluate the relationship of chronic pain with sociodemographic and lifestyle factors; and describe the pain characteristics among chronic pain sufferers. A total of 5,001 adults aged ≥18 years (response rate 58%) drawn from the general population of Hong Kong completed the Chronic Pain Grade (CPG) questionnaire, providing information on chronic pain and sociodemographic status using telephone interviews. Overall 34.9% reported pain lasting more than 3 months (chronic pain), having an average of 1.5 pain sites; 35.2% experienced multiple pain sites, most commonly of the legs, back, and head with leg and back being rated as the most significant pain areas among those with multiple pain problems. The CPG criteria classified 21.5% of those with chronic pain symptoms as Grade III or above. Fully adjusted stepwise regression analyses identified being female, older age, divorced/separated, having part-time employment, existing long-term health problems, higher HADS Anxiety scores, poor QoL (mental health component), and low self-perceived health to be significantly associated with chronic pain.

      Perspective

      Our data evidenced that chronic pain is common in the general population of Hong Kong, and the prevalence is highest among women and middle-aged adults.

      Key words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to The Journal of Pain
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Anderssson H.
        • Ejlertsson G.
        • Leden I.
        • Rosenberg C.
        Chronic pain in a geographic defined general population: Studies of differences in age, gender, social class, and pain localization.
        Clin J Pain. 1993; 9: 174-182
        • Banks S.K.
        • Kerns R.D.
        Explaining high rates of depression in chronic pain: A diathesis-stress framework.
        Psychol Bull. 1996; 119: 95-110
        • Bassols A.
        • Bosch F.
        • Campillo M.
        • Canellas M.
        • Banos J.E.
        An epidemiological comparison of pain complaints in the general population of catalonia (spain).
        Pain. 1999; 83: 9-16
        • Becker N.
        • Hojsted J.
        • Sjogren P.
        • Eriksen J.
        Sociodemographic predictors of treatment outcome in chronic non-malignant pain patients. Do patients receiving or applying for disability pension benefit from multidisciplinary pain treatment?.
        Pain. 1998; 77: 279-287
        • Blazer D.G.
        • Kessler R.C.
        • McGonagle K.A.
        • Swartz M.S.
        The prevalence and distribution of major depression in a national community sample: The national comorbidity survey.
        Am J Psychiatry. 1994; 151: 979-986
        • Blyth F.M.
        • March L.M.
        • Brnabic A.J.
        • Jorm L.R.
        • Williamson M.
        • Cousins M.J.
        Chronic pain in Australia: A prevalence study.
        Pain. 2001; 89: 127-134
        • Bouhassira D.
        • Lanteri-Minet M.
        • Attal N.
        • Laurent B.
        • Touboul C.
        Prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics in the general population.
        Pain. 2008; 136: 380-387
        • Bowsher D.
        • Rigge M.
        • Sopp L.
        Prevalence of chronic pain in the British: A telephone survey of 1037 households.
        Pain Clinic. 1991; 4: 223-230
        • Breslau N.
        • Davis G.C.
        • Schultz L.R.
        • Peterson E.L.
        Joint 1994 wolff award presentation. Migraine and major depression: A longitudinal study.
        Headache. 1994; 34: 387-393
        • Carter L.E.
        • McNeil D.W.
        • Vowles K.E.
        • Sorrell J.T.
        • Turk C.L.
        • Ries B.J.
        • Hopko D.R.
        Effects of emotion on pain reports, tolerance and physiology.
        Pain research & management: The Journal of the Canadian Pain Society = journal de la societe canadienne pour le traitement de la douleur. 2002; 7: 21-30
        • Chung J.W.Y.
        • Wong T.K.S.
        Prevalence of pain in a community population.
        Pain Med. 2007; 8: 235-242
        • Crook J.
        • Rideout E.
        • Browne G.
        The prevalence of pain complaints in a general population.
        Pain. 1984; 18: 299-314
        • Elliott A.M.
        • Smith B.H.
        • Penny K.I.
        • Smith W.C.
        • Chambers W.A.
        The epidemiology of chronic pain in the community.
        Lancet. 1999; 354: 1248-1252
        • Elliott A.M.
        • Smith B.H.
        • Smith W.C.
        • Chambers W.A.
        Changes in chronic pain severity over time: The chronic pain grade as a valid measure.
        Pain. 2000; 88: 303-308
        • Eriksen J.
        • Jensen M.K.
        • Sjogren P.
        • Ekholm O.
        • Rasmussen N.K.
        Epidemiology of chronic non-malignant pain in denmark.
        Pain. 2003; 106: 221-228
        • Fielding R.
        • Lam T.H.
        • Hedley A.J.
        Risk-behavior reporting by blood donors with an automated telephone system.
        Transfusion. 2006; 46: 289-297
      1. Fielding R, Wong WS: The prevalence of chronic pain, fatigue, and insomnia in the general population of Hong Kong. Final report to the health, welfare and food bureau, government of the Hong Kong special administrative region, China. School of Public Health, the University of Hong Kong: Hong Kong, 2008

        • Frohlich C.
        • Jocobi F.
        • Writtchen H.U.
        Dsm-iv pain disorder in the general population: An explanation of the structure and threshold of medically-unexplained pain symptoms.
        Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006; 256: 187
        • Gureje O.
        • Von Korff M.
        • Simon G.E.
        • Gater R.
        Persistent pain and well-being: A world health organization study in primary care.
        Jama. 1998; 280: 147-151
        • Hardt J.
        • Jacobsen C.
        • Goldberg J.
        • Nickel R.
        • Buchwald D.
        Prevalence of chronic pain in a representative sample in the United States.
        Pain Med. 2008; 9: 803-812
        • IASP
        Classification of chronic pain. Descriptions of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms. Prepared by the international association for the study of pain, subcommittee on taxonomy.
        Pain. Supplement. 1986; 3: S1-S226
        • James J.E.
        • Hardardottir D.
        Influence of attention focus and trait anxiety on tolerance of acute pain.
        Br J Health Psychol. 2002; 7: 149-162
        • Keogh E.
        • Cochrane M.
        Anxiety sensitivity, cognitive biases, and the experience of pain.
        J Pain: Official journal of the American Pain Society. 2002; 3: 320-329
        • Kish L.
        Survey sampling.
        1st ed. Wiley, New York, NY1965
        • Lam C.L.
        • Tse E.Y.
        • Gandek B.
        Is the standard sf-12 health survey valid and equivalent for a chinese population?.
        Qual Life Res. 2005; 14: 539-547
        • Latham J.
        • Davis B.D.
        The socioeconomic impact of chronic pain.
        Disabil Rehabil. 1994; 16: 39-44
        • Leung C.M.
        • Ho S.
        • Kan C.S.
        • Hung C.H.
        • Chen C.N.
        Evaluation of the Chinese version of the hospital anxiety and depression scale. A cross-cultural perspective.
        Int J Psychosom. 1993; 40: 29-34
        • Leung C.M.
        • Wing Y.K.
        • Kwong P.K.
        • Lo A.
        • Shum K.
        Validation of the Chinese-Cantonese version of the hospital anxiety and depression scale and comparison with the Hamilton rating scale of depression.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999; 100: 456-461
        • Mantyselka P.T.
        • Turunen J.H.O.
        • Ahonen R.S.
        • Kumpusalo E.A.
        Chronic pain and poor self-rated health.
        JAMA. 2003; 290: 2435-2442
        • McWilliams L.A.
        • Goodwin R.D.
        • Cox B.J.
        Depression and anxiety associated with three pain conditions: Results from a nationally representative sample.
        Pain. 2004; 111: 77-83
        • Millar W.
        Chronic pain. Health reports.
        Statistics Canada. 1996; 7: 47-53
        • Ng K.F.
        • Tsui S.L.
        • Chan W.S.
        Prevalence of common chronic pain in Hong Kong adults.
        Clin J Pain. 2002; 18: 275-281
        • Ohayon M.M.
        • Schatzberg A.F.
        Using chronic pain to predict depressive morbidity in the general population.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003; 60: 39-47
        • Polatin P.B.
        • Kinney R.K.
        • Gatchel R.J.
        • Lillo E.
        • Mayer T.G.
        Psychiatric illness and chronic low-back pain. The mind and the spine–which goes first?.
        Spine. 1993; 18: 66-71
        • Pud D.
        • Amit A.
        Anxiety as a predictor of pain magnitude following termination of first-trimester pregnancy.
        Pain Med. 2005; 6: 143-148
        • Romano J.M.
        • Turner J.A.
        Chronic pain and depression: Does the evidence support a relationship?.
        Psychol Bull. 1985; 97: 18-34
        • Rustoen T.
        • Wahl A.K.
        • Hanestad B.R.
        • Lerdal A.
        • Paul S.
        • Miaskowski C.
        Prevalence and characteristics of chronic pain in the general Norwegian population.
        Eur J Pain. 2004; 8: 555-565
        • Rustoen T.
        • Wahl A.K.
        • Hanestad B.R.
        • Lerdal A.
        • Paul S.
        • Miaskowski C.
        Age and the experience of chronic pain: Differences in health and quality of life among younger, middle-aged, and older adults.
        Clin J Pain. 2005; 21: 513-523
        • Smith B.H.
        • Penny K.I.
        • Purves A.M.
        • Munro C.
        • Wilson B.
        • Grimshaw J.
        • Chambers W.A.
        • Smith W.C.
        The chronic pain grade questionnaire: Validation and reliability in postal research.
        Pain. 1997; 71: 141-147
      2. The Government of Hong Kong DoCaS: Thematic household survey. Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong. 2003

        • Verhaak P.F.
        • Kerssens J.J.
        • Dekker J.
        • Sorbi M.J.
        • Bensing J.M.
        Prevalence of chronic benign pain disorder among adults: A review of the literature.
        Pain. 1998; 77: 231-239
        • Von Korff M.
        • Dworkin S.F.
        • Le Resche L.
        Graded chronic pain status: An epidemiologic evaluation.
        Pain. 1990; 40: 279-291
        • Von Korff M.
        • Ormel J.
        • Keefe F.J.
        • Dworkin S.F.
        Grading the severity of chronic pain.
        Pain. 1992; 50: 133-149
        • Wong W.S.
        • Chan S.T.M.
        • Fung V.B.K.
        • Fielding R.
        The differential mediating effects of pain and depression on the physical and mental dimension of quality of life.
        Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2010; 8: 1-6
        • Zigmond A.S.
        • Snaith R.P.
        The hospital anxiety, depression scale.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1983; 67: 361-370