Background and aims With an incidence of up to 50%, chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) is an important complication after surgery. Psychosocial variables seem to have a significant contribution but are not routinely screened for in clinical practice. This study examines the relationship between preoperatively reported psychosocial variables using validated questionnaires, and the risk to develop chronic postsurgical pain.
Methods Approval from the local ethical committee was obtained. (Clinicaltrials.gov requested.) Adult patients (chronic pain excluded) planned for surgery and anesthesia were included. All consenting patients filled out a preoperative modified Profile-29 questionnaire. Subjects were contacted three to six months after surgery to evaluate pain scores using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). Those reporting an NRS score of 3 or higher were asked to complete a postoperative questionnaire regarding neuropathic symptoms and functional interference.
Results A logistic regression analysis of 97 participants showed a significant relationship between preoperative scores from the modified Profile-29 questionnaire and the development of CPSP (z = 2.13, p = 0.03). There was a significant association with sleep problems (z = 2.47, p = 0.01) as well as preoperative pain levels (z = 2.4, p = 0.02) and CPSP.
Conclusions Psychosocial variables inquired in the modified Profile-29 play an important role in predicting CPSP, in particular sleep problems and preoperative pain levels. Higher scores on the profile-29 questionnaire are linked with a higher risk for CPSP. Our data did not yet provide a cut-off value to reliably identify patients at high risk.
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