Healthy Aging in Relation to Chronic Pain and Quality of Life in Europe

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Abstract

Objective

To undertake a review of the most recent data on the relationship between quality of life (QoL) and chronic pain, as a basis for discussions about healthy aging in Europe.

Method

A search was conducted to obtain studies on the relationship between pain severity and QoL and intervention studies reporting both QoL and pain severity in those with chronic pain in Europe. Medline and Embase were searched for observational studies and systematic reviews from 2009 to 2011. Four further databases were searched for systematic reviews and guidance from 2005 to 2011. Update searches for observational studies and systematic reviews for the period November 2011 to January 2013 were performed on Medline and Embase.

Results

We identified 8 observational studies and 1 systematic review that generally showed a statistically significant relationship between pain severity and QoL. We identified 5 systematic reviews of interventions in chronic pain that summarized both pain and QoL data that generally showed both a statistically significant reduction in pain and statistically significant increase in QoL.

Conclusion

There is strong evidence of a correlation between pain severity and QoL. There is some evidence that treatment in chronic pain patients can reduce pain and simultaneously improve QoL. Prevention and treatment of chronic pain may be of significant help in reaching the aim to increase the healthy lifespan.

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