Detection of pain with neuropathic characteristics in patients with diabetes mellitus assisted in primary care units

Francisca Lidiane Ximenes da Silva Aguiar Luciana Fernandes Pastana Ramos Cléa Nazaré Carneiro Bichara About the authors



There is a lack of epidemiological data on neuropathic pain in Brazil. Thus, the present study aimed to detect the presence of pain with neuropathic characteristics in people with diabetes mellitus, assisted by the Hiperdia program in Santarém-Pará.


A cross-sectional study was carried out between April and November of 2016 in seven Primary Care Units of Santarém. Patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus enrolled in the Hiperdia program, who answered a clinical and sociodemographic questionnaire were included. All those who reported pain responded the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questions and the visual analog pain scale. Data were tabulated and statistically analyzed using the software Bioestat® 5.0.


The sample consisted of 129 patients, all of whom with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Of these, 67 (51.9%) reported pain. Of these, 34.1% were detected with pain of neuropathic characteristics, with a predominance of pain in lower limbs and moderate intensity. The most reported symptoms were: tingling, pinching/needling and numbness.


An expressive prevalence of people with neuropathic pain was obtained through the application of the Douleur Neuropathique 4 questions questionnaire, which proved to be an effective and easily applied tool. It is suggested that the neuropathic pain should be identified in the primary care unit and that studies with greater population coverage be performed in Santarém-Pará and in the Northern region, due to the scarcity of data in Brazil.

Diabetes mellitus; Pain; Primary care

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