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Everyday pain, analgesic beliefs and analgesic behaviours in Europe and Russia: an epidemiological survey and analysis
  1. Kevin E Vowles1,
  2. Benjamin Rosser2,
  3. Pawel Januszewicz3,
  4. Bart Morlion4,
  5. Stefan Evers5,
  6. Christopher Eccleston2
  1. 1Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  2. 2Centre for Pain Research, School for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  3. 3Department of Medicine, National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Rzeszów University, Rzeszów, Poland
  4. 4The Leuven Centre of Algology & Pain Management, University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium
  5. 5Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kevin E Vowles, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Logan Hall MSC03 2220, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; k.e.vowles{at}


A questionnaire survey was conducted across eight countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain. Frequency of pain experience was assessed in 8506 individuals (52% women), as were use of, and attitudes towards, analgesics. Preliminary analyses confirmed the high frequency of pain with 70% of respondents reporting at least one experience per month. Headache and backache were reported most frequently and the majority, 77%, reported analgesic use in response to pain. Further analyses examined differences across sex, work status, country of residence and age. In comparison with men, women reported more frequent pain experiences, more analgesic use and worries about use, and tended to base use on what they know about medications. Those who were unemployed also reported more frequent use and worries about analgesics in comparison with the employed. In general, people living in Russia and Poland reported less frequent pain and analgesic use in comparison with the rest of Europe. They also reported more worries about analgesics and that their analgesic use had little to do with analgesic knowledge. Regarding age, younger individuals reported fewer pain episodes, more frequent analgesic use, and less worry about analgesics in comparison with older individuals. Additionally, younger individuals were more likely to base analgesic use on what they knew about the medicine. These results replicate extant findings with regard to the frequency of pain. They also provide new information on differences in pain experience, analgesic use and attitudes towards analgesics across Europe and Russia.

  • Pain Management
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health

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