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Chronic Pain Patients ‘Hanging on by a Thread’ During Coronavirus Lockdown

Pain News Network

Online survey on impact of Covid-19 on chronic pain patients in the US and Canada

Due to Covid-19, many people with chronic pain and chronic illness are staying at home, practicing social distancing and wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus. But after weeks of isolation, many chronically ill patients are feeling anxious and lonely, and worried about issues that healthy people are less concerned about, like losing access to medication and healthcare.

Just recently, Pain News Network, the International Pain Foundation and the Chronic Pain Association of Canada conducted an online survey with 2,221 people with chronic pain or chronic illness and the vast majority of respondents from the United States or Canada.

One of the biggest worries of respondents is having a health problem and needing to go to a hospital or doctor’s office, where they risk exposure to people who may be infected with COVID-19. As a result, over 70 percent say they have cancelled or postponed a medical appointment. About the same number are using telehealth to connect with their providers remotely.

Responses to the question “What Do You Worry About?”

  • 71% A loved one becoming infected
  • 69% Going to a hospital or doctor’s office
  • 67% Catching the virus
  • 64% Not knowing when this will end
  • 62% Losing access to medications
  • 50% Not being able to see family and friends
  • 49% Not being able to see my doctor
  • 49% Visiting locations where I might become infected
  • 42% Mental health
  • 42% Running out of food or essential supplies
  • 37% Financial problems
  • 89% self-isolating or under quarantine

“Some medications have been unavailable or on back order. Doctors have been unavailable; everything has been unavailable. I'm hanging on by a thread,” one patient reported.

Further information about the results of the survey can be found under this link.

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