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Chronic pain, pain severity and analgesia use in Australian women of reproductive age


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Miller, AM, Sanderson, K ORCID: 0000-0002-3132-2745, Bruno, RB ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Breslin, M ORCID: 0000-0002-8135-3136 and Neil, AL ORCID: 0000-0002-1344-6672 2018 , 'Chronic pain, pain severity and analgesia use in Australian women of reproductive age' , Women and Birth , doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2018.06.013.

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Background:The increasing prevalence and adverse outcomes associated with opioid analgesia use in women of reproductive age have become a significant public health issue internationally, with use during pregnancy potentially affecting maternal and infant health outcomes.Objective:This study aims to provide national estimates of chronic pain, pain severity and analgesia use in Australian women of reproductive age by pregnancy status.Method:Data were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011–12 National Health Survey (n = 20,426). Weighting was applied to sample data to obtain population estimates. For this study data were analysed for pregnant (n = 166, N = 192,617) and non-pregnant women (n = 4710, N = 5,256,154) of reproductive age (15–49 years).Results:Chronic or reoccurring pain was reported in 5.1% of pregnant women and 9.7% of non-pregnant women, and 0.7% and 2.6% of pregnant and non-pregnant women reported recent opioid analgesia use respectively. Moderate-to-very severe pain was more common in pregnant than non-pregnant women taking opioid analgesics, and no pain and very mild-to-mild pain in non-pregnant women.Conclusion:Approximately 1 in 20 pregnant Australian women have chronic or reoccurring pain. Opioid analgesia was used by around 1% of Australian pregnant women during a two-week period, with use associated with moderate-to-very severe pain. Given that the safety of many analgesic medications in pregnancy remains unknown, pregnant women and health professionals require accurate, up-to-date information on the risks and benefits of analgesic use during pregnancy. Further evidence on the decision-making processes of pregnant women with pain should assist health professionals maximise outcomes for mothers and infants.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Miller, AM and Sanderson, K and Bruno, RB and Breslin, M and Neil, AL
Keywords: Chronic pain, analgesia use, pregnancy, womens health
Journal or Publication Title: Women and Birth
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 1871-5192
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.wombi.2018.06.013
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Copyright 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Australian College of Midwives

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