Objectives: To determine the characteristics of patients presenting with chronic pain in a primary health care setting in Oman. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was carried out including all patients aged ≥ 18 years who attended Sultan Qaboos University Health Center during 2010. Patients were identified to have chronic pain if they were prescribed an analgesic medication for at least three months. Patients were compared to a control group which consisted of age- and gender-matched patients with no chronic pain. Results: Out of 6 609 patients, 241 (3.6%) were found to have chronic pain. The mean age of patients with chronic pain was 54.0±13.0 years. The majority of patients were female (n = 174; 72.1%), and most were Omani (n = 201; 83.4%). The prevalence of chronic pain was found to be significantly higher among females compared to males (4.5% vs. 2.5%; p < 0.001) and also among Omani nationals to non-nationals (83.4% vs. 70.1%; p < 0.001). Chronic pain was significantly associated with the following comorbidities; diabetes (33.1% vs. 20.7%; p < 0.001), obesity (35.2% vs. 26.5%; p = 0.001), and hypertension (51.0% vs. 38.5%; p = 0.002). Osteoarthritis was the most common pain condition (n = 104; 43.1%). Diclofenac was the most commonly prescribed drug (n = 168; 69.7%). Conclusions: The findings of our study point towards a higher prevalence of chronic pain in Omani females. These patients were also found to have a higher prevalence of other common comorbid conditions.
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