Background: Overcrowding of emergency departments (EDs), which are not suitable places to treat chronic pain and are responsible for managing acute disorders, leads to prolonged waiting times, delays in treating conditions requiring rapid intervention, patient dissatisfaction, and chaos and exhaustion in the ED.
Objectives: Examine the characteristics of patients who presented to the ED with non-malignant chronic pain to determine the frequency of use and factors that caused ED use.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in an ED. Three hundred ninety-two patients with chronic pain were included.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 48.1 ± 15.3 years, 62.2% were female, and 37.8% were male. Of the patients, 59.2% were married, 42.6% had elementary school education, and 56.1% were unemployed. The most common cause of ED admission was low back pain (LBP), the 32.7% used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 16.3% used opioid analgesics, 15.8% used anticonvulsants, 13.2% used anticonvulsants antidepressant drugs, 22% did not use any medication. The reasons for presenting to the ED for chronic pain were 13.3% for medication prescription, 74.5% for receiving analgesics, and 12.2% for a diagnosis. The mean Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scale score of the participants was 12.82 ± 3.98, which indicated moderate depressive symptoms. The mean Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale score was 9.84 ± 3.23, which indicated mild generalized anxiety disorder.
Conclusion: Instead of trying to suppress pain, emphasis should be put on preventing overcrowding in EDs, which are intended to manage acute conditions rather than chronic pai