The Impact of Pain on the Quality of Life of People with Multiple Sclerosis:
Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm
A Community Survey
Clint Douglas, RN, PhD; Judy A. Wollin, RN, PhD; Carol Windsor, RN, BA(Hon)
Source: MS Care.org - Fall Issue
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of pain on functioning across multiple quality of life (QOL) domains among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). A total of 219 people were recruited from a regional MS society membership database to serve as the community-based study sample. All participants completed a questionnaire containing items about their demographic and clinical characteristics, validated measures of QOL and MS-related disability, and a question on whether or not they had experienced clinically significant pain in the preceding 2 weeks. Respondents who reported pain then completed an in-person structured pain interview assessing pain characteristics
(intensity, quality, location, extent, and duration).
Comparisons between participants with and without MS-related pain demonstrated that pain prevalence and intensity were strongly correlated with QOL: physical health, psychological health, level of independence, and global QOL were more likely to be impaired among people with MS when pain was present, and the extent of impairment was associated with the intensity of pain. Moreover, these relationships remained significant even after statistically controlling for multiple demographic and clinical covariates associated with self-reported QOL.
These findings suggest that for people with MS, pain is an important source of distress and disability beyond that caused by neurologic impairments.Int J MS Care.2009;11:127–136.