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[Comment] Encountering pain

In her keynote lecture at the Encountering Pain conference at University College London (UCL) last year, Rita Charon argued that “unremitting pain is, I believe, our contemporary central dilemma”. Pain, particularly chronic pain, is common and remains difficult to fully capture in the verbal or numerical scales commonly used in clinical practice.1,2 Recognised as a major cause of disability globally, chronic pain affects about 20% of the adult European population with 28 million sufferers in the UK alone.