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ISSUE NO 4 7 NEWS & REVIEWS RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH & WELLNESS SURVEY 2008 AND 2010 Professor Paul Langley The National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) is designed to pro- vide a comprehensive assessment on the health status, including the experience of pain of the adult po- pulation. In Europe, the NHWS is administered in five countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. In the 2008 and 2010 surveys subjects were asked if they had experienced pain in the last month and to report on the fre- quency and severity of the pain. In the NHWS health related quality of life (HRQoL) is assessed using the generic SF-12 questionnaire. Labour force status is assessed as well as experience of absenteeism and presenteeism for those in em- ployment. The survey also collects data on subjects’ use of health care resources. As the survey covers the entire adult population it allows a comparison of those experiencing pain against those not experiencing pain and thus an evaluation of the deficit effect or burden of pain in the community. In 2008, the NHWS sample com- prised 53,524 respondents of whom 11,891 (22%) reported ex- periencing pain in the last month. This implies that around 50 million people in these 5 countries experi- ence chronic pain, or approximately 1 in 5 of the EU population over the age of 181 . Among these, 11.2 million reported severe pain, 29.4 frequent. Compared to those not experiencing pain, the impact of pain on the physical component score (PCS) of the SF-12 and the SF-6D absolute utility score was substantial. PCS scores in the SF-12 were reduced by over 20 points (approximately 40%) and ab- solute utility scores in the SF-6D by more than 20%. When respondents were questio- ned about their use of healthcare resources, those with severe pain visited traditional providers almost three times as often and were hos- pitalised more than four times as often compared to those not repor- million reported moderate pain and 9.0 million reported mild pain. In the severe pain category the majo- rity (75.2%) reported experiencing daily pain, whereas only 39.9% of those with moderate pain and 16.1% in the mild pain category had daily pain. When questioned on cur- rent health status, the overall pain population reported a pessimistic assessment with less than 20% ra- ting their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to over 40% in the no pain population. The effect of pain on HRQoL was greatest in those respondents whose pain was severe and more COMMENTARY Prof Paul C. Langley, of University of Minnesota about the societal and economic impact of chronic pain in Europe The prevalence of pain in these five European countries represents a considerable burden to individuals, employers, healthcare resources and society in general. The fact that one in five per- sons of the adult population reports having ex- perienced pain in the last month indicates that the implementation of effective pain management programs is a top priority in order to improve the quality of life of individuals and reduce the associated financial strain on healthcare budgets.