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Spinal Cord. 1997 Dec;35(12):814-7.

Factors associated with acute and chronic pain following traumatic spinal cord injuries.

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National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital NHS Trust, Aylesbury, Bucks, UK.


Previous studies have estimated that between 25% and 45% of people with spinal cord injury report severe levels of chronic pain. Few studies have examined this longitudinally. This study examines the primary pain sites, intensity and variability of perceived pain in 76 patients, 6 weeks post injury and 45 patients from the same cohort, 8 year post discharge. Demographic information reveals a close similarity with the database (40,000) from Stover and Fine's cohort (1986). Data was assessed using visual analogue scales, measures were also taken of functional independence (FIM), emotional status and coping. At 6 weeks post injury, most pain is sited in the thoracic spine area, and in the upper and lower limbs. At 1 year post discharge, most pain is reported to be in the thoracic spine area, the lumbar region and the chest. Twenty-three per cent of the 6 week group reported that the intensity of their pain was severe, whilst at 1 year, 41% of the sample complained of severe pain. Factors associated with the pain at both time points were explored using correlational analyses. The emotional, functional and psychological factors that predict pain severity were explored using multiple regression analysis. Twenty-four per cent of those reporting moderate to severe pain at 6 weeks post injury were still reporting pain at 1 year post discharge. This study examines the relative contribution of psychological factors in reported pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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