Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011 Dec;42(6):813-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.02.019. Epub 2011 May 13.

Cancer-related pain and disability: a longitudinal study.

Author information

  • 1School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. hswang@iupui.edu



Although the cross-sectional association between cancer-related pain and disability is well established, their longitudinal relationship has been less studied.


Data from the Indiana Cancer Pain and Depression (INCPAD) trial were analyzed to determine whether baseline cancer-related pain and changes in pain over time predict disability over 12 months.


A total of 274 cancer survivors with cancer-related pain were accrued in the INCPAD trial. Data were collected at baseline, one, three, six, and 12 months by interviewers blinded to treatment arm. Disability outcomes included a continuous measure (Sheehan Disability Scale [SDS] score) and a categorical measure (≥14 days in the past four weeks with a ≥50% reduction in usual activities). Predictor variables, operationalized by the Brief Pain Inventory, included baseline pain severity and changes in pain severity scores between each time point. Multivariable analyses were conducted adjusting for treatment group, baseline disability, and selected covariates including depression.


Baseline pain severity did not predict disability outcomes at 12 months. However, improvement in pain severity predicted less disability over 12 months both in terms of SDS scores (b=-0.17, t=-5.33, P<0.001) and ≥14 disability days in the past month (odds ratio=0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-0.93; P<0.001).


Disability over 12 months in patients with cancer-related pain is predicted by changes in pain severity over time. Results suggest that effective pain management may reduce subsequent disability among cancer survivors.

Copyright © 2011 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (1)Free text

Fig. 1
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk