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Pain incidence, assessment, and management in Vietnam: a cross-sectional study of 12,136 respondents

Authors Chuong NV, Pho DC, Thuy NTT, Nguyen DT, Luan NT, Minh LH, Khai LT, Linh NT, Kien NT

Received 21 August 2018

Accepted for publication 10 December 2018

Published 25 February 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 769—777

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S184713

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Ueberall


Nguyen Van Chuong,1 Dinh Cong Pho,2 Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy,3 Dinh Toan Nguyen,4 Nguyen The Luan,5 Luu Hong Minh,5 Luong Thi Khai,6 Nguyen Thuy Linh,3 Nguyen Trung Kien7

1Department of Neurology, Military Hospital 103, Vietnam Military Medical University, Ha Noi, Vietnam; 2Faculty of Medicine, Vietnam Military Medical University, Ha Dong District, Ha Noi, Vietnam; 3General Hospital District No 8, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 4Hue Medical and Pharmacy University, Hue City, Vietnam; 5Tien Giang University, My Tho City, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam; 6Lang Son Medical Institute, Lang Son City, Lang Son Province, Vietnam; 7Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Military Hospital 103, Vietnam Military Medical University, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Objective: To describe the rate and demographics of pain among Vietnamese people in 48 provinces and describe the impact of pain on individuals, levels of satisfaction with treatment results, and behavior of pain sufferers.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in adults presenting to outpatient clinics throughout 48 provinces in Vietnam and were randomly selected for inclusion in this study. A physician trained to administer a questionnaire in a standardized fashion interviewed each patient and collected data regarding gender, age, career, acute and chronic pain, diagnoses, treatment, and satisfaction with treatment.
Results: There were 12,136 respondents (50.65% male and 49.35% female) from 48 of the 63 provinces in Vietnam. About 86.53% of respondents reported experiencing pain that affected their daily lives, with 24.10% complaining of acute pain and 62.43% having chronic pain. About 67.71% reported pain that affected job performance. Headache was the most common complaint in 35.43% of the respondents. Fewer than half (43.35%) of all patients with pain sought help from a doctor; only a quarter (27.50%) sought help within 1 month of experiencing that pain. A majority (61.98%) of patients who did seek help were satisfied with treatment results. The median cost of treatment was between 150 and 250 USD.
Conclusion: Pain severe enough to impact patients’ daily lives is common in Vietnam. Treatment costs are a significant economic burden and may help explain why only a minority of patients seek treatment. Access to lower cost, effective treatment for pain should be improved.

Keywords: survey, chronic pain, impact of pain, health care, Vietnamese adults


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