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Life satisfaction in patients with chronic pain – relation to pain intensity, disability, and psychological factors

Authors Stalnacke B

Published 16 November 2011 Volume 2011:7(1) Pages 683—689

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S25321

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Britt-Marie Stålnacke
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Aims: To investigate pain intensity, posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, disability, and life satisfaction in patients with injury-related chronic pain and to analyze differences in these variables regarding gender.
Methods: Questionnaires addressing pain intensity (visual analogue scale [VAS]), anxiety and depression (hospital anxiety and depression [HAD] scale), posttraumatic stress (impact of event scale), disability (disability rating index, and life satisfaction [LiSat-11]) were answered by 160 patients at assessment at the Pain Rehabilitation Clinic at the Umeå University Hospital (Umeå, Sweden).
Results: High level of pain intensity was scored on the VAS (mean value 64.5 ± 21.1 mm) together with high levels of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Activity limitations in everyday life and decreased life satisfaction were reported, especially on the items physical health and psychological health. A multivariate logistic regression model showed a statistically significant association between low scores on the overall life satisfaction on LiSat-11 and high scores on HAD-depression (odds ratio = 1.141, confidence interval 1.014–1.285). Few gender differences were found.
Conclusion: These findings highlight the value of a broad screening in patients with injury-related chronic pain with respect to the relationship of life satisfaction with pain intensity, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, and disability. In addition, these findings support the biopsychosocial approach to assess and treat these patients optimally.

Keywords: whiplash injuries, depression, quality of life

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