New Survey Reveals Challenges Faced by Chronic Pain Patients in Seeking Treatment
Research conducted in the United Kingdom for pain awareness month points to a gender difference in the experience of chronic pain, pursuing pain relief and the feeling of being understood

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, United Kingdom – 5 Sept. 2023 – Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) today revealed survey results of 2,000 people living with chronic pain in the United Kingdom (UK) that unveiled the health impact, stigma, and other barriers affecting treatment. The research found that women with chronic pain feel significantly less understood than men by their partner, friends, or family, as well as by health care professionals. On average across all these groups, 36% more women than men strongly disagree with the statement that the full extent of their pain is understood.

It is estimated that 10.5 million people, a quarter of the UK adult population, live with chronic pain - defined as continuous and long-term pain lasting for more than 12 weeks.[1][2]The research indicates a gendered element impacting access to treatment, as 41% of women said they feel that their doctor does not understand the full scope of their chronic pain, while for men this is 25%. One in five women have not received help from a health care professional, nor do they plan to seek it within the next four weeks (21% vs. 15% of men).

“Effective ways to manage chronic pain exist, but as the survey reveals, patients are facing barriers that may prevent them from reaching out to get help,” says Dr. Sarah Love-Jones, pain physician and anaesthesiologist at North Bristol National Health Service (NHS) Trust. “More awareness is needed for the negative impact of chronic pain on the lives of those affected, to give them hope and to identify the right treatment for them.”

The research also revealed that wider recognition of chronic pain is needed (86%), that there is not enough public awareness about it (77%), and that there is still a stigma attached to chronic pain that may prevent people from pursuing support (79%). The NHS advises those living with pain for more than 12 weeks to speak to their general practitioner.[3]

“At Boston Scientific, we are committed to those living with chronic pain to help them find relief and live a healthier life,” said Vincent Sourdaine, vice president, Neuromodulation in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Boston Scientific. "We witness every day that a health care professional can have a significant and positive impact on the individual’s well-being.”

To learn more about resources for people who experience chronic pain, including a pain centre locator to find local specialists, please visit,

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About the survey

The survey was commissioned by Boston Scientific and conducted in May 2023 by iVOX, a research house. It canvassed 2,000 UK respondents (1045 women, 936 men, 19 non-binary) aged 18+ experiencing chronic pain, defined as ‘continuous and long-term pain lasting for more than 12 weeks.’ It sought to understand their chronic pain journey and identify barriers affecting treatment.


About Boston Scientific   

Boston Scientific transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for more than 40 years, we advance science for life by providing a broad range of high-performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.