In a 2007-2008 survey of 4,000 employed adult Canadians, Nanos Research found that more than 18 per cent of the adult workers polled experience chronic pain. The results of this survey, reported by CanWest News Service in May 2009, indicate that pain may be crippling Canadian workplace productivity by significantly increasing employee absenteeism.
The survey reports that the chronic pain suffered by Canadian workers is often under treated and causes those workers to lose an average of 28.5 work days per year. Dr. Roman Jovey, spokesman for a pain advocacy group called painexplained.ca, explained that this costly situation will only worsen if workers are not appropriately treated for their pain in a timely manner.
Out of 600 moderate to severe chronic pain sufferers polled, the survey found that almost 60 per cent had lost their job, experienced a loss of income or had their workplace responsibilities reduced as a result of their pain. These workers report having a lower health-related quality of life than employees suffering from other health conditions. Making matters even worse, the survey also showed that chronic pain sufferers often experience mental health issues as well: more than 60% of chronic pain sufferers are also diagnosed as suffering from depression, anxiety disorders or both. Although chronic pain is under treated, Canadian health care costs associated with its treatment are estimated at more than $6 billion per year and are expected to skyrocket in the future.
Source: Nanos Research (Chronic Pain and Employee Productivity Report)