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From acute to chronic back pain: Using linear mixed models to explore changes in pain intensity, disability, and depression

Bendayan, Rebecca et al.

Scandinavian journal of pain. Volume 16: (2017, July); pp 45-51 -- Elsevier

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  • Title:
    From acute to chronic back pain: Using linear mixed models to explore changes in pain intensity, disability, and depression
  • Author: Bendayan, Rebecca;
    Ramírez-Maestre, Carmen;
    Ferrer, Emilio;
    López, Alicia;
    Esteve, Rosa
  • Found In: Scandinavian journal of pain. Volume 16: (2017, July); pp 45-51
  • Journal Title: Scandinavian journal of pain
  • Subjects: Pain--Periodicals; Pain--Research--Scandinavia--Periodicals; Pain--Treatment--Periodicals; Chronic pain onset--Pain intensity--Depression--Disability--Change; Dewey: 612
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Publication Details: Elsevier
  • Abstract: Highlights Changes in pain intensity, disability, and depression since pain onset were investigated. Changes in pain intensity are found only over the first three months. Disability and depression slightly decrease following a linear trend. The results suggest that pain chronification is a continuous process. The utility of standard classifications of pain as acute or chronic is further discussed. Abstract Background/aims This longitudinal study investigated the pattern of change in pain intensity, disability, and depression in 232 chronic pain patients who were followed up for 2 years since pain onset. Most studies that have investigated changes in these variables over time have used participants who had already been in pain for more than 3 months. Few studies have followed up individuals from the acute phase onward and such studies used traditional statistical methods that cannot identify transition points over time or measure inter-individual variability. Methods We followed up individuals with chronic pain from pain onset up to 18 months and we examined their pain intensity, disability and depression trajectories using a modelling approach that allows to account for between and within-individual variability. We compared three patterns of change based on theoretical criterions: a simple linear growth model; a spline model with a 3-month transition point; and a spline model with a 6-month transition point. Time with pain was selected as time metric to characterise the change in these variables in the transition from acute to chronic pain. Sex and age differences were also examined. Results The results showed that the pain intensity trajectory was best represented by the spline model with a 3-month transition point, whereas disability and depression were best explained by linear growth models. There were sex differences at intercept level in all the models. There were age differences at baseline for pain intensity. No sex or age differences were found for the slope. Conclusions Pain intensity decreased in the first 3 months but underwent no further change. Disability and depression slightly but constantly decreased over time. Although women and older individuals are more likely to report higher pain intensity or pain-related disability in the first three months with pain, no differences by sex or age appear to be associated with the changes in pain intensity, depression and disability through the process of chronification. Implications Our findings suggest that pain chronification could be considered a continuous process and contribute to the ongoing discussion on the utility of standard classifications of pain as acute or chronic from a clinical point of view. Clinical and intervention decisions based in these standard classifications should consider the differences in the trajectories of pain related variables over time. In addition, this article illustrates a statistical procedure that can be of utility to pain researchers.
  • Identifier: System Number: ETOCvdc_100064875237.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1877-8860; 10.1016/j.sjpain.2017.02.009
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100064875237.0x000001

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