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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 1343568, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1343568
Research Article

Healthcare Use for Pain in Women Waiting for Gynaecological Surgery

1School of Nursing and Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
2Clinical Research Centre, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 2V7
3Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
4School of Nursing, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
5Sally Smith Chair in Nursing, School of Nursing and Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Received 9 September 2014; Accepted 30 October 2015

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Walker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Pain while waiting for surgery may increase healthcare utilization (HCU) preoperatively. Objective. Examine the association between preoperative pain and HCU in the year prior to gynecological surgery. Methods. 590 women waiting for surgery in a Canadian tertiary care centre were asked to report on HCU in the year before surgery. Pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory. Results. 33% reported moderate to severe pain intensity and interference in the week before surgery. Sixty-one percent () reported a total of 2026 healthcare visits, with 21% () reporting six or more visits in the year before surgery. After controlling for covariates, women with moderate to severe (>3/10) pain intensity/interference reported higher odds of overall HCU (≥3 pain-related visits to family doctor or specialist in the past year or ≥1 to emergency/walk-in clinic) compared to women with no or mild pain. Lower body mass index (BMI < 30 versus ≥30) and anxiety and/or depression were associated with emergency department or walk-in visits but not visits to family doctors or specialists. Conclusions. There is a high burden of pain in women awaiting gynecological surgery. Decisions about resource allocation should consider the impact of pain on individuals and the healthcare system.