Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

The Canadian STOP-PAIN Project: The Burden of Chronic Pain—Does Sex Really Matter?

Racine, Mélanie PhD*,†; Dion, Dominique MD; Dupuis, Gilles PhD*,§; Guerriere, Denise N. PhD; Zagorski, Brandon PhD; Choinière, Manon PhD†,§,#; Banner, Robert MD**; Barton, Pamela M. MD††; Boulanger, Aline MD‡‡; Clark, Alexander J. MD§§; Gordon, Allan MD∥∥; Guertin, Marie-Claude PhD¶¶; Intrater, Howard M. MD##; LeFort, Sandra M. PhD***; Lynch, Mary E. MD§§; Moulin, Dwight E. MD†††; Ong-Lam, May MD‡‡‡; Peng, Philip MBBS∥∥; Rashiq, Saifee MB§§§; Shir, Yoram MD∥∥∥; Taenzer, Paul PhD††; Ware, Mark MD∥∥∥and the Canadian STOP-PAIN Research Group by alphabetical order

The Clinical Journal of Pain: May 2014 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 443–452
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3182a0de5e
Original Articles

Objectives: The Canadian STOP-PAIN Project assessed the human and economic burden of chronic pain (CP) in individuals on waitlists of Canadian multidisciplinary pain treatment facilities. This article focuses on sex differences. Objectives were to (1) determine the pain characteristics and related biopsychosocial factors that best differentiated women and men with CP; and (2) examine whether public and private costs associated with CP differed according to sex.

Materials and Methods: Sample consisted of 441 women and 287 men who were evaluated using self-administered questionnaires and a structured interview protocol. A subsample (233 women and 137 men) recorded all pain-related expenditures in a comprehensive diary over 3 months.

Results: Results revealed that the burden of illness associated with CP was comparable in both sexes for average and worst pain intensity, pain impact on daily living, quality of life, and psychological well-being. The same was true for pain-related costs. The results of a hierarchical logistic regression analysis, in which sex was treated as the dependent variable, showed that factors that differentiated men and women were: work status, certain circumstances surrounding pain onset, present pain intensity, intake of particular types of pain medication, use of certain pain management strategies, pain beliefs, and utilization of particular health care resources.

Discussion: This study suggests that women and men who are referred to multidisciplinary pain treatment facilities do not differ significantly in terms of their pain-related experience. However, the aspects that differ may warrant further clinical attention when assessing and managing pain.

*Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Centre de Recherche

‡‡Clinique de la douleur du, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal

Departments of Family Medicine and Emergency

#Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal

§Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute

¶¶Montreal Heart Institute, Coordinating Center

∥∥∥Pain Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC

Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto

Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

∥∥Wasser Pain Management Clinic, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

**Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, University of Western Ontario

†††London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON

††Calgary Chronic Pain Program, Alberta Health Sciences, Calgary

§§§Multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

§§Pain Management Unit, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS

##Health Sciences Centre Pain Clinic, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

***School of Nursing, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St-John’s, NF

‡‡‡St-Paul’s Hospital Pain Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Rx&D Collaborative Research Program (Grant No. DOP 68175) (Ottawa, ON, Canada) in partnership with Pfizer Canada Inc (Kirkland, QC, Canada). Additional funds were obtained from three research networks of Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) (Montreal, QC, Canada): the Oral Health Research Network, the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Network and the Rehabilitation Research Network. M.R. was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Training Fellow in “Pain: Molecules to Community” (PM2C). Pfizer Canada Inc. did not influence the design, conduct, or reporting of the trial.

Reprints: Manon Choinière, PhD, Centre de Recherche, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Hôtel-Dieu, Vimont Pavilion, 3840, St. Urbain Street, Room 3-227, Montreal, QC H2W 1T8, Canada (e-mail:

Received November 5, 2012

Accepted June 8, 2013

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins