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Characteristics of patients with neuropathic pain syndromes screened by the painDETECT questionnaire and diagnosed by physician exam

Authors Kudel I, Hopps M, Cappelleri JC, Sadosky A, King-Concialdi K, Liebert R, Parsons B, Hlavacek P, Alexander AH, DiBonaventura MD, Markman JD, Farrar JT, Stacey BR

Received 21 December 2017

Accepted for publication 7 August 2018

Published 7 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 255—268


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Ian Kudel,1 Markay Hopps,2 Joseph C Cappelleri,3 Alesia Sadosky,2 Kristen King-Concialdi,1 Ryan Liebert,1 Bruce Parsons,2 Patrick Hlavacek,2 Andrea H Alexander,2 Marco D DiBonaventura,4 John D Markman,5 John T Farrar,6 Brett R Stacey7

1Health Outcomes Practice, Kantar Health, New York, NY, USA; 2Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USA; 3Pfizer Inc, Groton, CT, USA; 4Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USA; 5University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA; 6Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 7UW Center for Pain Relief, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Background: The aim of this study was to identify the clinical characteristics, treatment usage, and health outcomes of US adults diagnosed with neuropathic pain (NeP) by experienced physicians.
Methods: Adults with scores exceeding the threshold for probable NeP (painDETECT ≥19) and diagnosed with NeP by a qualified physician completed a questionnaire that included comorbid conditions, pain symptoms and experiences, medication use, health status (3-level EuroQol 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D-3L]: health utilities index and visual analog scale), pain severity and interference with functioning (Brief Pain Inventory), and work and activity impairment (Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire). Descriptive analyses were performed for each NeP subtype.
Results: Participants (n=295) were predominantly female (64.4%), middle-aged (53.9%), and white (51.5%). Chronic low back pain was the most frequently diagnosed major NeP syndrome (n=166), followed by diabetic peripheral neuropathy (n=58), post-trauma neuropathy (n=47), post-surgical neuropathy (n=28), and central NeP (n=23). An additional 45 participants were diagnosed, but did not meet the criteria for the aforementioned subtypes. Participants could be diagnosed with multiple subtypes. Across each NeP subtype, patients reported high rates of comorbid disease, including arthritis (range: 39.1%–64.3%) and high blood pressure (range: 26.1%–69.0%), as well as symptomology that included numbness (range: 68.1%–91.4%) and changes in muscular strength (range: 24.1%–65.2%). The majority of patients reported back pain (range: 77.8%–95.7%) and arthritis/joint pain (range: 68.1%–78.6%). The most commonly reported types of NeP pain medication were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (range: 43.1%–70.2%), weak opioids (range: 22.2%–39.3%), and strong opioids (range: 8.7%–28.6%). All six NeP groups generally reported similar levels of dysfunction on all self-report measures. The most notable finding was that the EuroQol-5D-3L health utilities index scores for each of the six groups were lower than the US norms by a clinically important amount.
Conclusion: These exploratory findings indicate that patients with NeP across different etiologies are medically complex and experience impaired function across multiple domains.

Keywords: activity impairment, functional status, health-related quality of life, neuropathic pain, pain medication use, physician diagnosis, work impairment

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