The Cost of Chronic Pain: An Analysis of a Regional Pain Management Service in Ireland

Brenda Gannon, David P. Finn, David O'Gorman, Nancy Ruane, Brian E. Mcguire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: The objective of the study was to collect data on the direct and indirect economic cost of chronic pain among patients attending a pain management clinic in Ireland. Setting: A tertiary pain management clinic serving a mixed urban and rural area in the West of Ireland. Design: Data were collected from 100 patients using the Client Services Receipt Inventory and focused on direct and indirect costs of chronic pain. Methods: Patients were questioned about health service utilization, payment methods, and relevant sociodemographics. Unit costs were multiplied by resource use data to obtain full costs. Cost drivers were then estimated. Results: Our study showed a cost per patient of US$24,043 over a 12-month period. Over half of this was attributable to wage replacement costs and lost productivity in those unable to work because of pain. Hospital stays and outpatient hospital services were the main drivers for health care utilization costs, together accounting for 63% of the direct medical costs per study participant attending the pain clinic. Conclusion: The cost of chronic pain among intensive service users is significant, and when extrapolated to a population level, these costs represent a very substantial economic burden. © 2013 American Academy of Pain Medicine 14 10 October 2013 10.1111/pme.12202 PRIMARY CARE & HEALTH SERVICES SECTION Original Research Article Original Research Article Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1518-1528
    Number of pages10
    JournalPain Medicine
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


    • Chronic Pain
    • Cost Drivers
    • Cost of Pain
    • Health Economics
    • Pain Clinic


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