Introduction Socioeconomic status affects the treatment of patients with low back pain and/or neck pain. We examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (occupation and household income level) and treatments such as chronic opioid use and interventional procedures among these patients.
Methods Data from the National Health Insurance Service database in South Korea were used in this population-based cross-sectional study. Approximately 2.5% of adult patients diagnosed with low back pain and/or neck pain between 2010 and 2019 were selected using a stratified random sampling technique and included in the analysis.
Results We analyzed the data of 5,861,007 patients with low back pain and/or neck pain in total. Among them, 4.9% were chronic opioid users and 17.7% underwent interventional procedures. Healthcare workers and unemployed individuals had 18% lower and 6% higher likelihood of chronic opioid use compared with office workers, respectively. Those with a very low household income had 18% higher likelihood of chronic opioid use than those with a poor household income. Other workers and unemployed individuals had 4% and 8% higher likelihood of undergoing interventional procedures than office workers, respectively. Healthcare workers had 5% lower likelihood of undergoing interventional procedures than office workers. Patients with middle, high, and very poor household incomes had a higher likelihood of undergoing interventional procedures, while those in the very high household income group had a lower likelihood of undergoing interventional procedures than those with poor household incomes.
Conclusions Socioeconomic status factors are associated with treatment in patients with low back pain and/or neck pain.
- analgesics, opioid
- back pain
- neck pain
- pain management
- chronic pain
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request. Data are available on reasonable request to corresponding author.
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Presented at The abstract of this article will be presented in the 48th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting on April 20, 2023–April 22, 2023.
Contributors TKO designed the study, analysed the data, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. I-AS contributed to the study conceptualization, acquisition of data, and review of the manuscript. I-AS accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish as guarantor. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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