Background and objectives Chronic pain affects many adults. To improve our daily practice, we need to understand multidisciplinary approaches, integrated treatment plans and the biopsychosocial context of these patients. To date, almost 15 000 chronic pain patients have been referred to the Maastricht University Pain Center in the Netherlands.
Methods This study describes 11 214 of these patients suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain was analyzed using relevant Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials instruments.
Results Most patients were female (59.3%). The prevalence of low education was 59%, and unemployment/disability was 35.9%. The mean age was 55.6 years. Severe pain (Numerical Rating Sale score 7–10) was reported by 71.9% of the patients; psychological and quality of life values deteriorated when pain severity increased. Approximately 36% of patients showed severe signs of depression or anxiety, and 39% displayed high pain catastrophizing. Of all patients, 17.8% reported high values for pain severity, catastrophizing and anxiety or depression.
Conclusions Based on baseline biopsychosocial values, this study shows the complexity of patients referred to pain centers. Pain management with a biopsychosocial approach in an integrated multidisciplinary setting is indispensable. Above all, adjusted education on chronic pain and attention to its biopsychosocial aspects are deemed necessary.
- pain management
- chronic pain
- pain measurement
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Contributors The final manuscript was reviewed and approved by all authors, and they have taken care to ensure the integrity of the work. The material in this manuscript has not been published and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in whole or in part in any language.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Patients provided informed consent, and ethical clearance was obtained from the medical ethical committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Data can only be obtained by the principal investigator and corresponding author, Nelleke de Meij, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Post box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, the Netherlands; telephone number: +31 43 3872335; fax number: +31 43 3875457.