In Synovium 39 we reported on the new Canadian Guidelines for managing Fibromyalgia Syndrome which stated very clearly that fibromyalgia was a condition to be diagnosed and treated by primary care clinicians. At the time we had not seen a survey on the challenges of pain management in primary care published in the Journal of Pain Research.
The authors asked 1309 primary care physicians in 13 European countries their views on aspects of chronic (non-malignant) pain management. The findings are disappointing. 1
Most clinicians (84%) reported finding chronic pain ‘one of the most challenging conditions to treat’ yet at the same time finding chronic pain a low priority within their healthcare systems. Use of pain assessment tools was low (48%). Chronic pain and its impact on the quality of people’s lives was felt to be under-assessed by 81%. Most clinicians (84%) felt poorly trained in managing chronic pain, 89% reported a need for more education on this topic. Which all makes implementing the Canadian Guidelines across Europe something of a longer-term aspiration.