Chronischer Schmerz. Überblick über die ambulante Schmerzversorgung in Österreich.

Publication from Health

Krahulec E., Schmidt L. J., Habacher W., Kratzer H

Schmerz 2012(26): 715–720. , 2012



Chronic pain is a widespread social problem. This paper reports on the care situation for patients with chronic pain in out-patient community settings in Austria.

Materials and methods

The study took the form of a telephone survey together with internet research. Every second out-patient pain service (from a total of 83) was contacted and 21 out of 42 agreed to participate.


The number of community-based physicians with a certificate in pain therapy as well as the number of out-patient pain services showed considerable regional variation. Partial or full interdisciplinary teams are a feature of approximately 50% of out-patient pain units and 76% of such services use guidelines according to their own estimation. Pain perception tends to be measured using pain rating scales rather than pain questionnaires. A wide range of treatments is offered either directly or via referral.


Quality criteria relating to the structure of care established by the Austrian Society for Pain have only been partially implemented. Potential for improvement exists particularly with regards to the prevalence of pain-specific training, interdisciplinary teamwork and the measurement of outcomes.