01 August 2018
Cardiac surgical pain remains a clinical challenge affecting about 40% of individuals in the first six months post-cardiac surgery, and continues up to two years after surgery for about 15–20%. Self-perceived sensitivity to pain may help to identify individuals at risk for persistent cardiac surgical pain to optimize health care responses. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between self-perceived pain sensitivity assessed by the Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) and postoperative worst pain intensity up to 12 months after cardiac surgery. Sex differences in baseline characteristics and the PSQ scores were also assessed.
This study was performed among 416 individuals (23% women) scheduled for elective coronary artery bypass graft and/or valve surgery between March 2012 and September 2013. A secondary data-analysis was utilized to explore the relationship between preoperative PSQ scores and worst pain intensity rated preoperatively, across postoperative Days 1–4, at 2 weeks, and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post-surgery. Linear mixed model analyses were performed to estimate changes in pain intensity during 1-year follow-up.
The mean (±standard deviation) PSQ-total score was 3.3±1.4, with similar scores in men and women. The PSQ-total score was significantly associated with higher worst pain intensity ratings adjusted for participant characteristics ( p=0.001).