Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 1

Epidemiology of chronic pain

The epidemiology of chronic pain varies by gender. Based on the National Population and Health Survey, the incidence of chronic pain ranges from 4.8%-7.1% in men and 6.0%-8.7% in women, while the Prevalence ranges from 12.1%-16.1% in men and 16.8%-22.7% in women (Reitsma, Tranmer, Buchanan, & VanDenKerkhof, 2012).

The risk of developing chronic pain increases with age, especially among women. Risk also increases for women as level of education decreases, and for those who are widowed, separated or divorced.

Further details on the epidemiology of chronic non-cancer pain can be found in the Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain


  • Reitsma, M. L., Tranmer, J. E., Buchanan, D. M., & VanDenKerkhof, E. G. (2012). The epidemiology of chronic pain in Canadian men and women between 1994 and 2007: Results from the longitudinal component of the National Population Health Survey. Pain Research and Management, 17(3), 166–172.