Health related quality of life and quantitative pain measurement in females with chronic non-malignant pain.Eur J Pain 2005; 9(3):267-75EJ
The aim of the present study was to assess, compare, and correlate the pain response to an experimental pain stimulus (hyperalgesia to pressure pain threshold (PPT) measured from different body sites), the pain intensity (VAS) of the habitual pain, and quality of life parameters (SF-36) in groups of females with chronic non-malignant pain syndromes. Forty female pain patients with fibromyalgia/whiplash (n = 10), endometriosis (n = 10), low back pain (n = 10), or rheumatoid arthritis (n = 10), as well as 41 age-matched healthy female controls participated in the study. The fibromyalgia/whiplash patients scored significantly higher (p < 0.04) VAS ratings (median rating = 7.0) than the endometriosis (6.0), low back pain (6.0), and rheumatoid arthritis (3.5) patients. All fours patient groups had significantly lower PPTs at all sites as compared with controls. The fibromyalgia/whiplash patients experienced the highest influence of pain on their overall health status, particularly vitality, social function, emotional problems, and mental health. A significant negative correlation was found between VAS rating and quality of life (p < 0.04). Significant correlation (p < 0.05) was found between pressure hyperalgesia measured at lowest PPT sites and the impairment of SF-36 physical function as well as mental health parameters. This study demonstrates significant generalised pressure hyperalgesia in four groups of chronic pain patients, correlations between degree of pressure hyperalgesia and impairment of some quality of life parameters, and increased pain intensity of the ongoing pain is associated with decreased quality of life.