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

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/203075

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

Title: A one-year follow-up study of chronic pain in community-dwelling older adults with and without neuropathic pain
Author: Rapo-Pylkkö, Susanna; Haanpää, Maija; Liira, Helena
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2017-07-19
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/203075
Abstract: Abstract Background Chronic, mostly musculoskeletal pain is common among older adults. Little is known about the prognosis of chronic pain and the neuropathic pain qualities in older adults. We studied a cohort of community-dwelling older adults, clinically assessed their pain states, classified their type of pain (nociceptive, neuropathic or combined) and followed them up for a year. Methods At baseline, a geriatrician clinically examined all study patients and classified their type of pain in collaboration with a pain specialist. Pain, quality of life and mental health were measured by questionnaires (BPI, GDS-15, BAI and SF-36) and reassessed after 1 year. Results Despite chronic pain, all patients from the baseline cohort continued to live independently at 1 year. A total of 92 of 106 (87%) patients returned the follow-up questionnaire. Nociceptive pain on its own was present in 48 patients, whereas 44 patients also had neuropathic pain. Most patients (96%) had several 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 intensity, pain interference, 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. Conclusions On average, chronic pain was persistent in our patients, but they were able to live independently despite their pain. At the individual level, both relief and exacerbation of pain were observed, supporting the notion that pain is not inevitable and unremitting among older adults.
Subject: Chronic pain
Finland
Older adults
General practice
Longitudinal studies


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