OBJECTIVE: To describe the associations between demographics and health-related quality of life for chronic non-malignant pain patients.
DESIGN: A cohort study.
SETTING: A multidisciplinary Danish pain centre.
STUDY PARTICIPANTS: All patients treated at the centre between 2007 and 2013.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Levels of pain, anxiety and depression, and physical and mental status. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were used.
RESULTS: A total of 1176 patients were included. The majority were women (64%), the mean age was 46.7 ± 14.4 (range 18-89), and 21% were able to work full or part time. On a Numeric Rating Scale from 0 to 10, median pain-intensity was 8 (interquartile range 7-8) and pain-discomfort 8 (interquartile range 7-9) at time of referral. More than half of the patients had symptoms of anxiety and depression. Most of the individual SF-36 domains had median scores between 0 and 40 (Scale from 0 to 100). Patients younger than 50 years of age as well as patients on sick leave/disability pension had significantly lower SF-36 scores. Level of pain, anxiety and depression decreased and SF-36-scores increased significantly after a course of treatment which in most cases consisted of both medical, physiotherapeutic and psychological treatment as well as health-oriented education. The chi-square test, Mann-Whitney U-test, the Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon Signed-rank test were used for analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: In order to improve treatment at a multidisciplinary pain centre, it may be of value to target treatments to different patient subgroups based on, amongst other things, age and employment status.