Krueger and Stone used a telephonic random digit dialing technique in an attempt to contact 10700 people to seek their participation in a survey about the occurrence and severity of pain across randomly sampled 15 minute intervals of the day. Their final sample was 3982 people (a 37% response rate). They used a 7 choice rating scale for pain intensity and found that 28% of men and 26% of women reported feeling some pain at the sampled times. Those with lower income or less education spent a higher proportion of their time in pain and reported a higher proportion of time in pain than did those with higher income and more education. The authors note the high cost of pain with respect to medication and lost time from work. They estimate that the combined cost of outpatient prescription analgesics and lost productivity was nearly 75 billion dollars. Krueger AB and Stone AA: Assessment of pain: a community-based diary survey in the USA. Lancet 2008;371:1519 - 1525
David S. Smith, M.D., Ph.D.