Department for Health

Teenagers in chronic pain

Research shows that 20% of adults with chronic pain reported untreated pain in adolescence

Young girlChronic pain causes significant problems in the lives of many adolescents, negatively affecting their physical, psychological and social functioning.

Prevalence studies of persistent chronic pain in childhood demonstrate that 12% of adolescents have a severe episode of pain and 2% have persistent stubborn pain. Descriptive data show that 20% of adults with chronic pain reported untreated pain in adolescence. The assessment of the impact of chronic pain and its subsequent treatment is therefore an essential clinical task.

Adolescents (and their families) in the UK and around the world are now better able to cope with chronic pain because of the unique work carried out at the University of Bath Centre for Pain Research, directed by Professor Christopher Eccleston.

Related research

Our Centre for Pain Research produced the first multidimensional ‘one-stop’ tool to assess the impact of pain on children’s lives, which has now been adopted in at least 12 countries. These pioneering treatments have influenced treatment approaches worldwide.

Our team also manage the evidence base for chronic pain, giving access through the Cochrane Library, advising internationally on clinical service development and improvement.

Impact case study

This research was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Download impact case study.