Objective: The objective of this study was to determine current practices in the Lorraine region in the treatment of neuropathic pain and to assess the challenges faced by general practitioners (GPs).Methods: We conducted a qualitative study by the focus group technique, by constituting a balanced panel of GPs to meet diversification requirements. The number of focus groups was defined to obtain data saturation. The lead author of this study acted as an observer, while a facilitator was responsible for moderating the debate. Analysis of transcripts was performed in two ways: firstly, several readings of the transcripts to highlight the main ideas emerging from these discussions, and secondly, integration of verbatim transcripts in NVivo 10 software to allow complementary computer analysis.Results: The GPs interviewed reported that they prescribed Clonazepam (Rivotril®), Carbamazepine (Tegretol®) and Amitriptyline (Laroxyl®) less often than ten years ago, and Gabapentin (Neurontin®), Pregabalin (Lyrica®), Venlafaxin (Effexor®) and Duloxetine (Cymbalta®) more often than ten years ago. They reported many difficulties in the daily management of these patients, especially concerning the psychological or psychiatric components associated with this pain, comorbidities, iatrogenic effects, the inefficacy of the available molecules, the difficulties of access to a specialist (including pain centres), acceptance of treatment by patients, limiting requirements (restrictive marketing authorisations, withdrawal of certain products…).Conclusion: The treatment of neuropathic pain raises a number of difficulties for GPs, but changes in prescribing habits reflect a constant adaptation of clinical practices.
Paolo Di Patrizio
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