Scots uni launches first national pain survey to support chronic pain community

A SCOTS university claims that their new survey dedicated to the experience of those living with chronic pain has the potential to change their lives.

The Alleviate Pain Data Hub, led by the University of Dundee, aims to direct pain research to best meet the needs of the chronic pain community through the UK National Pain Survey.

According to the NHS, chronic pain affects anywhere from 35-51% of adults in the UK, with the pain being described as lasting longer than 12 weeks.

Image supplied with release by the University of Dundee
Antony Chuter has experienced chronic pain for more than three decades.

Findings from the survey will help researchers to determine how to focus their direction and strategy, whilst highlighting the experiences of those living with chronic pain.

Having lived with chronic pain for more than three decades, Antony Chuter is no stranger to pain – his struggle began with renal pain from kidney stones.

By the time he reached his early twenties, Antony had lost his job, home and partner due to the wide-ranging effects of living with pain.

Antony said: “I went from having an active life to not being able to get off the sofa or get out of bed due to pain.

“I went from one world to another, where I was just about surviving. I felt like I wasn’t living, I was just existing.

“Research is key for every condition, and this survey will aid the chance of finding new treatments, new ways of treating pain and new ways of managing pain.

“This will change lives.”

Dr Chris Cole, Director of Alleviate Pain Data Hub, said: “Through our work with patient partners in Alleviate we have been inspired and humbled by their lived experience, like Antony’s, giving us added motivation for the wider aims of the project.

“There hasn’t been a large-scale survey in the UK since 2016 and with the current challenges post-Covid and the cost-of-living crisis we need to update what is important to those living with pain.”

Antony believes that the survey has the potential to change minds about the impact of living with chronic pain.

“People living with pain generally don’t feel listened to, don’t feel understood and don’t feel believed.

“Pain has such a stigma to it. This survey has the power to put a spotlight on pain in a way that hasn’t happened before.”

The UK National Pain Survey is open to adult participants from the UK who have direct experience of living with chronic pain. Participants can access the survey online.