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New study seeks volunteers to help older people experiencing pain

Dr Fiona Mackichan

Dr Fiona Mackichan

Press release issued: 14 May 2012

It is estimated that up to 62 per cent of people aged over 75 have chronic pain, which is sometimes linked to medical problems such as arthritis. Despite its prevalence, older people are also more likely to suffer in silence. A new University of Bristol study is seeking volunteers to find out what research should be done in future for those suffering from chronic pain.

It is estimated that up to 62 per cent of people aged over 75 have chronic pain, which is sometimes linked to medical problems such as arthritis. Despite its prevalence, older people are also more likely to suffer in silence. A new University of Bristol study is seeking volunteers to find out what research should be done in future for those suffering from chronic pain.

Older adults are more likely to experience long-term pain compared with younger adults, but are less likely to seek help. One research study involving over 700 people aged 50 with long-term knee pain found that over half had not spoken to their GP about it.  To help address this, Dr Fiona MacKichan, a researcher from the University’s School of Social and Community Medicine, is looking for ten older people to take part in a new ESRC-funded study looking at chronic pain. 

Participants will be able to take part in two workshops that will provide them with an opportunity to talk about living with discomfort and to discuss what research should be done in future. Attendees will also learn about health care research and go ‘behind the health headlines’ to see what evidence there is for some of the treatments we see reported in the news. No prior knowledge of research is needed to take part.

Dr Mackichan said: “Pain is something that all of us experience during our lives. It can warn us of damage to our bodies, and help us to avoid painful stimuli in future.  However, for some people pain does not go away.

“Hearing first hand from people who are experiencing long-term pain is very important as it makes it more likely that research will be designed to address the needs and priorities of those who might benefit from it.” 

If you are an older adult who is experiencing long-term pain, also known as chronic pain, and are interested in learning about health care research and would like to have a say in what should be done in future please get in touch with Dr Fiona MacKichan, tel 0117 928 7228 or email fiona.mackichan@bristol.ac.uk</