The one-year follow-up study of chronic pain in the community of older adults with and without neuropathic pain

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SCIENCE
The one-year follow-up study of chronic pain in the community of older adults with and without neuropathic pain
Key Take-Away: 

Chronic pain is an escalating health problem encountered by health care professionals, particularly among older people. This study focused on the assessment of pain state among older individuals and established that changes in pain states after one year has a negative correlation with pain states studied at baseline.

Chronic musculoskeletal pain is common among older adults.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Chronic musculoskeletal pain is common among older adults. A very small amount of information is known about the prognosis of the neuropathic pain qualities and chronic pain in older adults.

The cohort of community-dwelling older adults was studied, clinically assessed for pain states, classified their pain type (neuropathic, nociceptive or combined) and followed for complete one year.

Methods: 

At baseline, in collaboration with a pain specialist a geriatrician clinically examined all study patients and classified their type of pain.

Pain, mental health and quality of life were measured by questionnaires (BPI, GDS-15, BAI, and SF-36) and reassessed after one year.

Results: 

Despite the chronic pain, all patients from the baseline cohort continued to live independently at one year. A total of 87% (92 of 106) patients returned the follow-up questionnaire. 48 patients have nociceptive pain on its own, whereas 44 patients also had neuropathic pain.

Most of the patients (96%) had various pain states at baseline, and 13 patients reported a new pain state at follow-up. On average, there were no significant changes in the pain interference, pain intensity, mood or quality of life in either group between baseline and follow-up. Changes in pain were observed at the individual level, and both intensity and interference of pain at the follow-up had a negative correlation with the baseline value.

Conclusion: 

On average, the pain was persistent in all the patients, but they were able to live independently despite their pain. At the individual level, both exacerbations of pain and relief were observed, supporting the notion that pain is not unremitting inevitable and among older adults.

 

Source:

BMC Geriatr. 2017 Jul 19;17(1):152

Link to the source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28724356

Original title of the article

A one-year follow-up study of chronic pain in community-dwelling older adults with and without neuropathic pain.

Authors:

Rapo-Pylkkö S et al.

Exploratory, Neuropathic Pain, Nerves, BPI, GDS-15, BAI, SF-36
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