A Descriptive Longitudinal Study of Chronic Pain Outcomes and Gender Differences in a Multidisciplinary Pain Management Centre


Background: The long-term outcomes of patients with chronic pain treated in a multidisciplinary pain management center remain variable. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the changes in outcomes of patient’s self-reported pain, psychosocial status, health related quality of life and gender differences following treatment in amultidisciplinary pain management centre. Design: A prospective longitudinal cross-sectional study uses questionnaires. Treatment Setting: A pragmatic and individualized patient centered approach in a tertiary level multidisciplinary pain management center. Subjects: Patients with chronic pain referred to the centre from 2004-2010. Outcome Measures: Pain Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Pain Temporal Description (1 - 6), Pain Self- Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) and Short Form-36 (SF- 36). Follow-up questionnaires were sent at 6 and 12 months after initial assessment. Results: Mean duration of baseline chronic pain was 8.1 years and 61% of chronic pains were involving the musculoskeletal system. At 6 and 12 month follow-ups, 273 and 180 participants had been surveyed respectively. At 6-month follow-up, there were significant improvements on pain intensity (Cohen’s d = 0.8), pain self-efficacy (Cohen’s d = 0.47), depression and stress scores (Cohen’s d = 0.16) and six out of eight domains of SF-36 (Cohen’s d = 0.2 - 0.4). At 12-month follow-up, improvements were maintained on pain intensity, self-efficacy and three out of eight domains of SF-36. There were distinctive pre- and post-treatment gender differences in these outcomes and overall females showed better short- and long-term outcomes than males. Conclusion: Multidisciplinary pain management using an individualized patient centered approach remains an effective treatment for chronic pain in both the short- (6 month) and long-term (12 month). The distinctive pre- and post-treatment gender differences particularly in the psychological outcomes, suggest that it may be beneficial to further delineate and better manage vulnerable patient subgroups.

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G. Tay, T. , L. Willcocks, A. , F. Chen, J. , Jastrzab, G. and Khor, K. (2014) A Descriptive Longitudinal Study of Chronic Pain Outcomes and Gender Differences in a Multidisciplinary Pain Management Centre. Pain Studies and Treatment, 2, 56-69. doi: 10.4236/pst.2014.22010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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