The economic impact of chronic pain in adolescence: methodological considerations and a preliminary costs-of-illness study

Michelle Sleed, Christopher Eccleston, Jennifer Beecham, Martin Knapp, Abbie Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

143 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic pain in adulthood is one of the most costly conditions in modern western society. However, very little is known about the costs of chronic pain in adolescence. This preliminary study explored methods for collecting economic-related data for this population and estimated the cost-of-illness of adolescent chronic pain in the United Kingdom. The client service receipt inventory was specifically adapted for use with parents of adolescent chronic pain patients to collect economic-related data (CSRI-Pain). This method was compared and discussed in relation to other widely used methods. The CSRI-Pain was sent to 52 families of adolescents with chronic pain to complete as a self-report retrospective questionnaire. These data were linked with unit costs to estimate the total care cost package for each family. The economic impact of adolescent chronic pain was found to be high. The mean cost per adolescent experiencing chronic pain was approximately 8000 pound per year, including direct and indirect costs. The adolescents attending a specialised pain management unit, who had predominantly noninflammatory pain, accrued significantly higher costs, than those attending rheumatology outpatient clinics, who had mostly inflammatory diagnoses. Extrapolating the mean total cost to estimated UK prevalence data of adolescent chronic pain demonstrates a cost-of-illness to UK society of approximately 3840 pound million in one year. The implications of the study are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalPain
Volume119
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2005

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