Back to Journals » Journal of Pain Research » Volume 12

Epidemiology of physician-diagnosed neuropathic pain in Brazil

Authors Udall M, Kudel I, Cappelleri JC, Sadosky A, King-Concialdi K, Parsons B, Hlavacek P, Hopps M, Salomon PA, DiBonaventura MD, Clark P, Santos Garcia JB

Received 21 December 2017

Accepted for publication 7 August 2018

Published 7 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 243—253


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Margarita Udall,1 Ian Kudel,2 Joseph C Cappelleri,3 Alesia Sadosky,1 Kristen King-Concialdi,2 Bruce Parsons,1 Patrick Hlavacek,1 Markay Hopps,1 P Arline Salomon,4 Marco D DiBonventura,2 Patricia Clark,5,6 João Batista Santos Garcia7

1Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USA; 2Health Outcomes Practice, Kantar Health, New York, NY, USA; 3Pfizer Inc, Groton, CT, USA; 4Pfizer Inc, Bosques de las Lomas, Mexico; 5Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, Mexico City, Mexico; 6Faculty of Medicine UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico; 7Pain and Palliative Care Department, Federal University of Maranhão, Maranhão, Brazil

Estimate the prevalence of neuropathic pain (NeP) among chronic pain patients attending Brazilian hospitals and pain clinics in São Paulo, Ceara, and Bahia and explore clinical characteristics by subtypes: painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (pDPN), central neuropathic pain (CNP), chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component (CLBP-NeP), postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), post-traumatic neuropathic pain (PTN), and post-surgical neuropathic pain (PSN).
Methods: Physicians screened patients reporting chronic pain for ≥3 months (n=2,118) for probable NeP, using the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questionnaire and physician assessment, and reported their NeP subtype(s), symptoms, and medications. Identified NeP patients completed a questionnaire including treatment experiences, quality of life EuroQol 5 Dimensions [EQ-5D]), pain severity and interference (Brief Pain Inventory [BPI]), and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scales. Descriptive analyses were performed by NeP subtype.
Results: The prevalence of probable NeP was 14.5% (n=307). NeP patients were mostly female (80.5%), middle-aged (mean [M]=52.5, SD=13.9), and Pardo (44.3%). Of those diagnosed with an NeP subtype (n=209), the largest proportions were CLBP-NeP (36.8%), followed by pDPN (18.7%), CNP (17.7%), PTN (17.2%), PSN (13.4%), and PHN (3.3%). Across subtypes, the most widely reported symptoms were numbness (range: 62.2%–89.7%) and hyperalgesia (range: 32.1%–76.9%) and the most commonly prescribed pain analgesics were NSAID (range: 18.2%–57.1%), opioids (range: 0.0%–39.3%), and antiepileptics (range: 18.2%–57.1%). PTN and PSN patients reported the least favorable EQ-5D index scores (M=0.42, SD=0.19) and BPI-Pain Severity scores (M=7.0, SD=1.9), respectively. Those diagnosed with CNP had the least favorable BPI-Pain Interference scores (M=6.0, SD=2.7). Patients with PHN reported the least impairment based on EQ-5D index scores (M=0.60, SD=0.04). Those with pDPN had the most favorable BPI scores (BPI-Pain Severity: M=4.6, SD=2.3; BPI-Pain Interference: M=4.7, SD=2.7).
Conclusion: Evaluation of chronic pain patients in Brazil yielded a 14.5% probable NeP prevalence. NSAIDs and opioids were commonly used, and there was a high incidence of NeP-related symptoms with varying levels of dysfunction across subtypes.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, Brazil, quality of life, pain, work productivity and activity impairment

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]