Knowledge about Pain Clinics and Pain Physician among General Practitioners: A Cross-sectional Survey

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Introduction: There is an on-going debate about what qualifies one to be called a "pain physician" and who can run the "pain clinic". Currently, the discipline of anesthesiology is producing the majority of pain physicians. A literature search was unable to find data for any Pakistani or other South Asian countries with regards to general practitioner (GP) knowledge about pain clinics and pain physicians. The main objective of this study was to assess the awareness of GPs regarding the existence of the pain clinic and pain physician.Methods: A total of 411 GPs were included in this cross-sectional survey. A questionnaire consisting of ten questions was designed to identify their knowledge about the existence of pain clinics and pain physicians. Questionnaires were completed in the field and edited for the inconsistencies and in-completeness.Results: The results showed that only 52.6% of GPs were aware of the existence of pain clinics. The survey showed that 37.5% believe neurologists are the pain physicians and only 10.9% know that pain clinics are run by anesthesiologist. The vast majority (85.0%) are unaware of the modern pain relieving methods used in pain clinics.CONCLUSION: The survey indicates that nearly half of the GPs are unaware of the existence of pain clinics and pain physicians, and the majority of GPs are unaware of new pain relieving methods.


Pain and Therapy