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      The pain experience of a multiple sclerosis population: a descriptive study.

      Axone (Dartmouth, N.S.)

      Sex Factors, Quality of Life, Prevalence, Pain Measurement, psychology, etiology, epidemiology, Pain, Ontario, complications, Multiple Sclerosis, Middle Aged, Male, Incidence, Humans, Female, Aged, Adult

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          A detailed survey questionnaire was distributed to patients attending a multiple sclerosis clinic for the purpose of describing the pain experience of an MS population. Three hundred and sixty-four (364) questionnaires were completed and returned for evaluation. Two hundred and thirty-three (233) or 64 percent of subjects surveyed reported painful symptoms at some time during the course of their disease. Data was gathered and analyzed with regard to age, gender, duration of illness, age of onset of MS, employment status, classification of disease, onset of painful symptoms and their frequency and intensity. Similarities between the two groups (pain vs no pain) were observed in mean age (44.15 years vs 43.40), duration of illness (10.97 years vs 10.26 years), employment status (56 percent employed vs 57 percent employed), age of disease onset (33.74 years vs 32.07 years) and breakdown of illness classifications in both groups. Onset of pain was reported at time of diagnosis or before in 41 percent of subjects surveyed. Females were more likely to complain of pain than were men (68 percent vs 55 percent) and tended to report a significantly higher pain intensity than males. Forty-nine percent of subjects with pain reported difficulty working, 44 percent difficulty sleeping and 34 percent reported troubled interpersonal relationships. Forty percent of patients with pain report never being completely pain free.

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