Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Chronic pain: definitions and diagnosis

Chronic pain: a flawed and harmful dichotomisation

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 22 August 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1890
  1. Benjamin J F Dean, consultant hand surgeon and researcher
  1. University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK
  2. Botnar Research Centre, Oxford
  1. benjamin.dean{at}

Kang and colleagues have concisely summarised the definitions and diagnosis of chronic pain.1 There are several major problems underlying the decision to label chronic pain a diagnosis and to subsequently dichotomise this complex entity into “primary” and “secondary” subtypes. The extensive links between the drug industry and the International Association for the Study of Pain …

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