Objective: The study objective was to assess the quality of life and satisfaction with treatment of patients with chronic neuropathic pain (CNP) who experience breakthrough pain (BTP) and to assess its economic impact.
Design: Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting: Fifteen pain units from Spanish hospitals completed the study.
Participants: A total of 124 patients with adequately controlled CNP who experienced BTP were enrolled into the study.
ntervention: No interventions were required.
Measures: Quality of life was assessed using the SF12 v2 questionnaire, the results of whichwere used to calculate the estimated costs per patient and month and the SF-6D Health Utility Index. Patient satisfaction with treatment received for CNP and for BTP was assessed using a 10-point visual analogue scale. Other associated symptoms were analyzed using the ESAS (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System).
Results: Patients had a mean age of 60.2 years (95% CI 58.4-63.3), and 46.8% (58) were males. 18.9% (23) experienced their first episode of BTP. A severe impairment of the physical component of SF12v2 was noted, with 94% of patients
below the mean score of the population, while 88% had values lower than normal for the mental component.Mean cost per patient and month was $679 and was significantly greater in males ($763 versus $606), 4.96 times greater than in healthy population,
and approximately double the cost of patients with CNP in Spain.
Conclusions: Occurrence of BTP in patients with CNP causes a substantial increase in healthcare costs which is significantly greater in older males.