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Population-based study of central post-stroke pain in Rimini district, Italy

Authors Raffaeli W, Minella CE, Magnani F, Sarti D

Received 11 April 2013

Accepted for publication 12 June 2013

Published 17 September 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 705—711


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

William Raffaeli,1 Cristina E Minella,2 Francesco Magnani,3 Donatella Sarti3

1ISAL Foundation, Institute for Research on Pain, Torre Pedrera, Rimini, Italy 2Pain Therapy Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy 3Department of Pain Therapy and Palliative Care, Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy

Abstract: Central post-stroke pain (CPSP) is still an underestimated complication of stroke, resulting in impaired quality of life and, in addition to the functional and cognitive consequences of stroke, the presence of CPSP may be associated with mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This type of pain may also impair activities of daily living and further worsen quality of life, negatively influencing the rehabilitation process. The prevalence of CSPS in the literature is highly variable (1%–12%) according to different studies, and this variability could be influenced by selection criteria and the different ethnic populations being investigated. With this scenario in mind, we performed a population-based study to assess the prevalence of CPSP and its main features in a homogeneous health district (Rimini, Italy), including five hospitals for a total population of 329,970 inhabitants. From 2008 to 2010, we selected 1,494 post-stroke patients and were able to interview 660 patients, 66 (11%) of whom reported pain with related tactile and thermal hyperesthesia, accompanied by needle puncture, tingling, swelling, and pressure sensations. Patients reported motor impairment and disability, which influenced their working ability, rehabilitation, and social life. Despite this severe pain state, there was a high percentage of patients who did not receive adequate treatment for pain.

Keywords: stroke, central post-stroke pain, disability

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