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Am J Med. 1997 Mar;102(3):269-76.

Pain during hospitalization is associated with continued pain six months later in survivors of serious illness. The SUPPORT Investigators. Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatments.

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1
Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the level of pain reported by survivors of serious illness 2 and 6 months after study enrollment and to identify variables associated with later pain.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Observational cohort study of patients with interviews during hospitalization (5,652) and 2 (3,782) and 6 (2,984) months later admitted between June 1989 and January 1994 with 1 or more of 9 high mortality diagnoses admitted to 5 tertiary care academic centers in the United States. Patients' level of pain during the hospitalization and 2 and 6 months later was determined from interviews with patients and surrogates (most often family members). Separate ordinal logistic regressions were constructed with level of pain at months 2 or 6 as the dependent variable and 22 demographic, psychological, chronic, and acute illness measures at the time of hospitalization as independent variables.

RESULTS:

Of patients reporting level 4 (moderately severe pain occurring most of the time or extremely severe pain occurring half of the time) or 5 (moderately severe pain occurring most or all of the time or extremely severe pain occurring at least half of the time) pain to 5 during hospital interviews, 39.5% and 39.7% reported level 4 or 5 pain 2 and 6 months later, respectively. Level of hospital pain was the variable most strongly associated with later pain. Compared with patients with level 1 hospital pain, those with level 2 (not at all severe pain or moderate, occasional) had a 2.91 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.50, 3.37) and 1.75 (CI 1.48, 2.07) times greater adjusted odds of increased levels of pain 2 and 6 months later, respectively. Compared with patients with level 1 hospital pain, those with level 5 pain had a 9.20 (CI 7.27, 11.65) and 4.40 (CI 3.39, 5.71) times greater adjusted odds of increased levels of pain 2 and 6 months later, respectively. Age, number of dependencies in activities of daily living, depression, and type of comorbid illnesses were also independently associated with level of pain both 2 and 6 months later.

CONCLUSION:

Survivors of the serious and common illnesses that we studied have a high level of pain during hospitalization and up to 6 months after hospitalization. Level of hospital pain was most strongly associated with later pain. Better pain control both during hospitalization and after discharge should be given a high priority. Pain during hospitalization should trigger future inquiries about pain and its treatment.

PMID:
9217596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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