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      Pain extent and function in youth with physical disabilities

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          The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the role that spatial qualities of pain (location and extent) play in functioning, among youths with disabilities and chronic pain.


          One-hundred and fifteen youths (mean age 14.4 years; SD ±3.3 years) with physical disabilities and chronic pain were interviewed and were asked to provide information about pain locations and their average pain intensity in the past week, and to complete measures of pain interference, psychological function and disability. Most of the participants in this sample were males (56%), Caucasian (68%), and had a cerebral palsy (34%) or muscular dystrophy (25%) problem. Most participants did not report high levels of disability ( X ¯ = 12.7 , SD ±9.5, range 0–60) or global pain intensity ( X ¯ = 3.2 , SD ±2.4, range 0–10).


          Pain at more than one body site was experienced by 91% of participants. There were positive associations between pain extent with pain interference ( r = 0.30) and disability ( r = 0.30), and a negative association with psychological function ( r = –0.38), over and above average pain intensity. Additionally, pain intensity in the back (as opposed to other locations) was associated with more pain interference ( r = 0.29), whereas pain intensity in the shoulders was associated with less psychological function ( r = –0.18), and pain intensity in the bottom or hips was associated with more disability ( r = 0.29).


          The findings support the need to take into account pain extent in the assessment and treatment of youths with physical disabilities and chronic pain, call our attention about the need to identify potential risk factors of pain extent, and develop and evaluate the benefits of treatments that could reduce pain extent and target pain at specific sites.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Chronic pain epidemiology and its clinical relevance.

          Chronic pain affects ∼20% of the European population and is commoner in women, older people, and with relative deprivation. Its management in the community remains generally unsatisfactory, partly because of lack of evidence for effective interventions. Epidemiological study of chronic pain, through an understanding of its distribution and determinants, can inform the development, targeting, and evaluation of interventions in the general population. This paper reviews current knowledge of risk markers associated with chronic pain and considers how these might inform management and prevention. Risk factors include socio-demographic, clinical, psychological, and biological factors. These are relevant to our understanding of chronic pain mechanisms and the nature of, and responses to, current and future treatments.
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            Localized or widespread musculoskeletal pain: does it matter?

            Although epidemiological descriptions indicate that musculoskeletal pain is often widespread, still a lot of musculoskeletal pain is diagnosed and treated as localized pain. This led us to question whether localized pain exists at all and to evaluate its functional impact compared with that of widespread musculoskeletal pain. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the prevalence of localized and widespread musculoskeletal pain and its association to functional ability. In 2004, questionnaires about musculoskeletal pain were mailed to seven age groups in Ullensaker, Norway: 24-26, 34-36, 44-46, 54-56, 64-66, 74-76, and 84-86 years old. In total, 3325 persons participated (participation rate 54.4%). We excluded the oldest age group and persons who did not respond to any questions about pain during the previous week, thus reducing the participants in this study to 3179. Although musculoskeletal pain occurred frequently in the population, localized pain, in the meaning of single site pain, was relatively rare. Most people having musculoskeletal pain reported pain from a number of sites. Furthermore, experiencing single site pain did not have a large impact on physical fitness, feelings, or daily and social activities. Functional problems increased markedly, in an almost linear way with increasing number of pain sites. These findings suggest that musculoskeletal pain usually coexists with pain in other body regions and that the functional consequences are highly dependent on how widespread the pain is. This should have important implications for future research into musculoskeletal pain, and for clinical and social insurance medicine.
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              Functional assessment of pediatric pain patients: psychometric properties of the functional disability inventory.

              The Functional Disability Inventory (FDI; Walker LS, Greene JW. The functional disability inventory: measuring a neglected dimension of child health status. J Pediatr Psychol 1991;16:39-58) assesses activity limitations in children and adolescents with a variety of pediatric conditions. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the FDI in pediatric pain patients. Participants included 596 patients with chronic abdominal pain, ages 8-17, and a subset of their parents (n = 151) who completed the FDI and measures of pain, limitations in school activities, and somatic and depressive symptoms at a clinic visit. Test-retest reliability was high at 2 weeks (child report, .74; parent-report, .64) and moderate at 3 months (child report, .48; parent report, .39). Internal consistency reliability was excellent, ranging from .86 to .91. Validity was supported by significant correlations of child- and parent-report FDI scores with measures of school-related disability, pain, and somatic symptoms. Study results add to a growing body of empirical literature supporting the reliability and validity of the FDI for functional assessment of pediatric patients with chronic pain.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                05 January 2017
                : 10
                : 113-120
                [1 ]Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain – ALGOS, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
                [2 ]Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
                [3 ]Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Catalonia, Spain; Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain
                [4 ]Chair in Pediatric Pain, Universitat Rovira i Virgili-Fundación Grünenthal, Catalonia, Spain
                [5 ]Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
                [6 ]Department of Occupational Science and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jordi Miró, Departament de Psicologia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Carretera de Valls s/n, 43007 Tarragona, Spain, Telephone: +34 9 775 5179, Email jordi.miro@ 123456urv.cat
                © 2017 Miró et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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