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Airing Pain 49: The Impact of Pain on Society

Talk­ing to rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a vari­ety of pain organ­i­sa­tions, includ­ing the Trigem­i­nal Neu­ral­gia Asso­ci­a­tion, about the wide-reach­ing impact that pain has on society

This edi­tion has been fund­ed by a grant from the Scot­tish Government.

Chris­tine John­ston heads to Brus­sels to inves­ti­gate the impact that pain has on soci­ety as a whole at the Soci­etal Impact of Pain lob­by group’s fourth annu­al event. She talks to Neil Bet­teridge of Neil Bet­teridge Asso­ciates which pro­motes a holis­tic approach to pain man­age­ment. Bet­teridge explains that ear­ly inter­ven­tion is ben­e­fi­cial not only for the patient but also for employ­ers, as it leads to faster, more effec­tive treat­ment and less time spent out­side of the work­place. Jamie O’Hara, who works with Adel­phi Real World and the Haemophil­ia Soci­ety, dis­cuss­es the results of a sur­vey car­ried out about the effect pain has on soci­ety, which found that those liv­ing with chron­ic pain and their car­ers expe­ri­ence dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly high lev­els of unemployment.

Chris­tine also speaks to Jacqui Lyt­tle, an Inde­pen­dent Com­mis­sion­ing Con­sul­tant, who crit­i­cis­es the cur­rent care giv­en to those with chron­ic pain con­di­tions, cit­ing wrong diag­noses and the sub­se­quent delays in access­ing effec­tive treat­ment as the main issues. She explains that pain man­age­ment costs more when it’s not man­aged effec­tive­ly than when it is, both in terms of mon­ey and in work­ing days lost through illness.

Paul Evans then meets Jil­lie Abbott, the Projects Offi­cer of Trigem­i­nal Neu­ral­gia Asso­ci­a­tion, who describes the organisation’s attempts to raise aware­ness of the lit­tle-under­stood con­di­tion with­in the health­care pro­fes­sion, cit­ing the high fre­quen­cy of mis­di­ag­noses and inef­fec­tive treat­ment as the moti­va­tion for this edu­ca­tion­al focus. She also shares some cop­ing mech­a­nisms that can help those liv­ing with Trigem­i­nal Neu­ral­gia and empha­sis­es the need for bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion between peo­ple liv­ing with the con­di­tion and health­care professionals.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia, oro­fa­cial pain, holis­tic approach, work­place, employ­ment, mis­di­ag­no­sis, com­mu­ni­cat­ing pain, rais­ing aware­ness, stig­ma, patient expe­ri­ence, dis­crim­i­na­tion, social sup­port, the biopsy­choso­cial mod­el, eco­nom­ic impact and carers.


Con­trib­u­tors:

  • Chris­tine John­ston,  Pain Concern
  • Neil Bet­teridge, Own­er of Neil Bet­teridge Asso­ciates and Vice-Chair of Chron­ic Pain Pol­i­cy Coalition
  • Jamie O’Hara, Adel­phi Real World and elect­ed trustee of Haemophil­ia Society
  • Jacqui Lyt­tle, Inde­pen­dent Com­mis­sion­ing Consultant
  • Jil­lie Abbott, Projects Offi­cer of Trigem­i­nal Neu­ral­gia Association.

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