A grave but important problem in the treatment of pain, is suicide. While many chronic pain problems are not life threatening, self-harming, e.g. suicide attempts are. Clinicians may ask whether suicide-risk is actually higher in a population of patients with chronic pain. In this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain Else-beth Stenager and her co-workers  publish an important study in which they have combined the WHO research database in Odense on all suicide attempts in Southern Denmark  with the database on patients referred to the multidisciplinary university pain clinic in Odense, Denmark . The WHO-database comprises only suicide attempts that resulted in hospitalization, i.e. they were all serious attempts . Suicide attempts of less serious character are not registered, so the research database is probably underestimating the real number of suicide attempts. The unique strength of the Stenager et al. study is that their data are strong, objective data from combining the registry data on suicide attempts with their chronic pain patient-data . This enables the researchers to compare the pain-patient-population with the general population. We are not aware of any similar research on the real risk of suicide-attempts among the many who are burdened by
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2014
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