Chronic pain and COVID-19: a study of the CHUM to help those who are suffering

Douleur chronique et COVID-19: une étude du CHUM pour aider ceux qui en souffrent

27 April 2020 14h01


Chronic pain and COVID-19: a study of the CHUM to help those who are suffering

Stéphanie Marin

The Canadian Press


MONTREAL – The balance of people with chronic pain is precarious, and they do not have access to all facets of their treatments in these times of pandemic COVID-19.

Researchers from the CHUM research Centre and to start a pan-canadian study to see how their lives and their health are upset – and help.

Even if this disease is unknown, 20 percent of Canadians suffer from chronic pain. In the 65 years and older, there is even one person out of three.

Their quality of life is based on a precarious balance, starts to enter the game Manon Choinière, a researcher at the CR-CHUM, and a professor in the Department of anesthesiology of the University of Montreal.

Chronic pain persistent is a disease, not just a symptom, she says.

In these patients, quality of life decreases tremendously, because their life is punctuated by grief: some must stop working, others are forced to limit their social activities. Many develop anxiety and problems of depression.

This is why the researcher is concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 on their lives and their well-being.

The treatment of chronic pain requires a multidisciplinary approach, says the researcher.

However, most currently possible for these people to have appointments in physical therapy and the gyms are closed. Their condition may deteriorate without exercise, ” noted Ms. Choinière.

The isolation caused by the measures of social distancing exacerbates their isolation already existing, and the professor fears for their mental health. Also, these individuals typically benefit from the help of their relatives, because the pain prevents them from fulfilling all their needs on a daily basis. They currently have more support.

And some worry about the shortage of drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, which helps those affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but also those with the COVID-19.

With colleagues from the CR-CHUM, and, moreover, as Anaïs Lacasse, a researcher and professor in health sciences at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue(UQAT), Ms. Choinière has launched a study which takes the form of a bilingual questionnaire online. People with chronic pain may provide useful information about their current experience of pain, their treatment, their emotional well-being or their quality of life.

In this context, scientists are looking for 2000 to 3000 adults struggling with chronic pain for over three months.

Through the analysis of the data collected, the research team will recommend ways to do so (information, intervention, etc) that will improve, both during and beyond the current pandemic, the care provided to people living with chronic pain.

The questionnaire is accessible here:

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