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Pain catastrophizing is associated with poorer health-related quality of life in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease

Authors Bakshi N, Lukombo I, Belfer I, Krishnamurti L

Received 8 September 2017

Accepted for publication 15 January 2018

Published 8 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 947—953


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Nitya Bakshi,1 Ines Lukombo,1,2 Inna Belfer,3 Lakshmanan Krishnamurti1

1Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 3Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder of the red blood cells and is associated with chronic multisystem involvement. While SCD has been associated with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL), there is a paucity of data on the relationship of psychological covariates other than anxiety and depression and quality of life (QoL) in children with SCD.
Materials and methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of psychological factors, HRQoL, and pain-related outcomes in participants with SCD and race-matched controls as part of a larger study of experimental pain phenotyping.
Results: Pain catastrophizing was inversely correlated with HRQoL measured by the PedsQL™ Generic Core Scale in children with SCD, while this was not noted in control participants. Psychological factors, such as anxiety and depressive symptoms, were also associated with poorer HRQoL in both children with SCD and controls. We did not find an association of psychological factors with prior health care utilization. Psychological factors such as anxiety and depressive symptoms were inversely correlated with pain interference, but not pain intensity in SCD.
Conclusion: Catastrophizing is associated with poorer HRQoL in SCD, but in this study, it was not associated with pain intensity or interference and health care utilization in children with SCD. Further studies are needed to fully define the association of psychological factors including catastrophizing with QoL, pain burden, and SCD outcomes.

Keywords: pain, depressive symptoms, catastrophizing, sickle cell disease, PROMIS, quality of life

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