Survey says: Hospitals not treating pain sufficiently

Hospitals are not treating pain as well as they could, says a new survey out today from the New England Journal of Medicine. The survey, which was done in hospitals from 40 major metropolitan areas, showed that nearly one-third of patients felt that their pain relief was not sufficient. Yet modern medicine can relieve nearly all pain.

What are the reasons for this discrepancy? For one, in spite of 76 million Americans living in chronic pain, medical schools give only a one hour training session on understanding and dealing with pain in their patients. Further, there are very few pain specialists even though pain management is a widespread problem.

And even though an estimated three-quarters of people over the age of 65 suffer from chronic pain, only 2 percent of NIH funds go toward pain research.

To learn more about the survey results:
- read this McClatchy-Tribune piece