Researchers from the Pain Management Unit, the University of Kent and the London School of Economics surveyed more than 50 families who have an adolescent child who has recently used pain management services. They asked parents to outline the additional costs that they have incurred as a direct or indirect result of their child’s condition, as well as the full range of health services they have used. They also asked them to include details of the changes they have had to make, either to their home or their working situation, to cope with the condition.

As part of the year-long study, the researchers have calculated that the average annual cost of treating and managing adolescent pain is more than £8,000 per patient per year. “We hope that this establishes the seriousness of adolescent pain in a way that will help improve the provision of services in this chronically under-treated area,” said Professor Chris Eccleston from the Pain Management Unit at the University of Bath and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.

“Adolescents who experience persistent or recurrent pain also experience high levels of distress, use more health services, have more mental health and social problems, are absent from more school and tend to do worse academically than those without pain. Although we are beginning to know more about the psychological and social burden of chronic adolescent pain, we don’t know much about the financial costs of living with, or caring for, an adolescent with chronic pain.”; Source: University of Bath