The reported prevalence of neuropathic pain ranges from 6.9% to 10%; however the only Canadian study reported 17.9%. The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of neuropathic pain in Canada. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a random sample of Canadian adults. The response rate was 21.1% (1504/7134). Likely or possible neuropathic pain was defined using a neuropathic pain-related diagnosis and a positive outcome on the Self-Report Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs pain scale (S-LANSS) or the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) Questions. The prevalence of likely neuropathic pain was 1.9% (S-LANSS) and 3.4% (DN4) and that of possible neuropathic pain was 5.8% (S-LANSS) and 8.1% (DN4). Neuropathic pain was highest in economically disadvantaged males. There is a significant burden of neuropathic pain in Canada. The low response rate and a slightly older and less educated sample than the Canadian population may have led to an overestimate of neuropathic pain. Population prevalence varies by screening tool used, indicating more work is needed to develop reliable measures. Population level screening targeted towards high risk groups should improve the sensitivity and specificity of screening, while clinical examination of those with positive screening results will further refine the estimate of prevalence.
VanDenKerkhof, E. G., Mann, E. G., Torrance, N., Smith, B. H., Johnson, A., & Gilron, I. (2016). An epidemiological study of neuropathic pain symptoms in Canadian adults. Pain Research and Management, 2016, 1-13. . https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9815750