Prevalence of Current Chronic Pain in Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets


Background: Nearly half of active duty Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers (i.e., 43%) report experiencing current chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than 3 months). Most RCMP officers (i.e., 91%) who report chronic pain indicate that the pain started after working as RCMP officers. Baseline data on chronic pain prevalence among RCMP cadets has not been available. Aims: The current study was designed to provide cross-sectional estimates of chronic pain prevalence among RCMP cadets starting the Cadet Training Program and to assess for sociodemographic differences among participants. Methods: The RCMP Study uses a longitudinal prospective sequential experimental cohort design to create a clustered randomized trial that engages individual participants for 5.5 years. The current manuscript provides cross- sectional associations between chronic pain prevalence and sociodemographic characteristics. Participants were RCMP cadets (n=770) starting the Cadet Training Program. Location, intensity (i.e., on a 0-10 scale, and days per week experienced), and duration (i.e., number of months) of chronic pain was reported. Differences across sociodemographic characteristics were examined. Results: Few RCMP cadets reported experiencing chronic pain (i.e., 10%); lower back pain was rated as the most severe in terms of intensity and duration, and second most frequently reported in number of days experienced per week. Prevalence of chronic pain was lower among RCMP cadets than RCMP officers. Conclusions: Chronic pain prevalence among active duty RCMP officers may result from or be moderated by operational duties, as well as routine aging. Future researchers could examine ways to mitigate chronic pain development during RCMP officer careers.

© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Robyn E. Shields, Taylor A. Teckchandani, Katie L. Andrews, Billea Ahlgrim, Danielle M. Caissie, Chet C. Hembroff, Jolan Nisbet, Gordon J. G. Asmundson, Gregory P. Krätzig & R. Nicholas Carleton (12 May 2024): Prevalence of Current Chronic Pain in Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets, Canadian Journal of Pain, DOI: 10.1080/24740527.2024.2354394