Usefulness of the pain sensitivity questionnaire to discriminate the pain behaviour of chronic pain patients

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Abstract

Background:

Chronic pain is no longer an effective warning system, but a syndrome with co-morbidities and many causes, needing a careful evaluation. Questions remain about the pain behaviour of chronic pain patients compared with patients with acute pain, or healthy subjects that we investigated.

Methods:

We compared three populations: healthy (HS, n=280), with acute pain (AP=110 patients), and chronic pain (CP=280 patients) by assessing their pain behaviour with the pain sensitivity questionnaire (PSQ-total and PSQ-minor). The influence of central sensitisation syndrome (CSS) on chronic pain behaviour, including catastrophising, was further investigated by using the central sensitisation inventory.

Results:

Compared with the AP patients and HS, the CP patients exhibited significantly higher catastrophising scores; higher PSQ-minor scores [29.0 (21.0–39.0), than for AP 24.0 (14.0–32.5), and for healthy subjects 25.0 (17.0–34.0); and PSQ-total scores of for CP, 63.5 for AP, and 64.0 for HS. No significant difference was observed between the HS and AP populations. Significant differences were observed between the CP patients with and without CSS. The median PSQ-minor for patients with CSS was 33.0 and without CSS was 25.0 (P<0.05); the median PSQ-total for patients with CSS was 82.0 and without CSS was 65 (P<0.05). The CP patients without CSS did not show any significant difference compared with the AP and HS groups, except for catastrophising.

Conclusions:

This study highlights the influence of CSS in the results of PSQ and catastrophising by chronic pain patients in comparison with healthy controls and acute pain patients.

Clinical trial registration:

P2014/134.

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