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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 9

of 'Pain assessment and management in the last weeks of life'

Chronic pain in a large community sample of persons with multiple sclerosis.
Ehde DM, Gibbons LE, Chwastiak L, Bombardier CH, Sullivan MD, Kraft GH
Mult Scler. 2003;9(6):605.
INTRODUCTION: This study examined the prevalence, intensity, interference, and biopsychosocial correlates of pain in a large community-based sample of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).
METHODS: Mail surveys were returned by 442 members of the King County (WA) MS Association. Average pain intensity, pain-related activity interference, depressive symptoms and severity of MS were assessed.
RESULTS: Forty-four percent reported persistent, bothersome pain in the three months prior to completing the survey. Participants with pain reported an average pain intensity rating of 5.2 (SD = 2.3) on the 0 (no pain) to 10 (pain as bad as could be) scale. Twenty-seven percent reported severe pain (score of 7-10), while 51% of those with pain rated the interference of their pain with daily activities as none to minimal. Twenty percent reported severe interference in activities as a result of pain. In multivariate modeling, MS illness severity, marital status, and self-ratings of overall health were significantly associated with pain-related interference with activities.
CONCLUSIONS: Approximately a fourth of this sample described having a chronic pain problem characterized by severe pain intensity and significant pain-related interference with activities. Disability due to pain may be more important than previously recognized for the MS population.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. ehde@u.washington.edu