The Role of Disease Duration and Pain Catastrophizing in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain




Costin, Theodora


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Introduction: Psychological factors such as pain catastrophizing and depression may negatively impact pain perception and could put low back pain sufferers at risk for prolonged pain. PRECISION TEXAS, a low back pain research registry at the University of North Texas Health Science Center administered a survey to gain better understanding of psychosocial and other influences on chronic pain. One objective was to assess, based on the survey, the association between pain intensity, duration, and extent of depression with pain catastrophizing. Methods: A survey containing the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), PROMIS-29 Quality of Life (QoL) questionnaire, and Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) were administered to registry participants of which two groups with differing duration of low back pain were targeted for analysis. Results: No statistically significant differences in mean PCS and depression scores were observed based on duration of low back pain. Higher pain intensity and depression scores were statistically significantly associated with increased pain catastrophizing scores among the three dimensions, rumination, magnification, and helplessness. Conclusion: A wide range of individual scores suggests that certain individuals are at greater risk of negative pain perceptions that could contribute to the progression of pain. Future longitudinal research on the progression of cognitive changes regarding pain experience could be beneficial in identifying those at greater risk of psychological influences and provide earlier intervention.