The experience of chronic nonmalignant pain

Laura S. Hitchcock, Betty R. Ferrell, Margo McCaffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


This article reports the results of a survey of 204 persons with chronic nonmalignant pain who were members of a national self-help organization. The survey evaluated the organization, explored the perceived effect of pain on quality of life, and assessed experiences with and perceptions of health-care providers. Response rate was 40%. Of survey respondents, 50% reported inadequate pain relief. Respondents identified depression as one of the worst problems caused by their chronic pain: 50% reported that they had considered suicide due to feelings of hopelessness associated with their pain, 51% reported taking only as muck medication as prescribed, and 44% reported taking less medication than prescribed. Further investigation is needed to describe the personal impact of chronic nonmalignant pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • addiction
  • analgesics
  • quality of life
  • self-help organization
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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