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Psychosocial Factors Influence Pain in MS

December 22, 2015

Pain is prevalent in 63% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a recent study published in Neurology, and psychosocial factors may be key contributors to the severity of that pain. This study used a cognitive-behavioral MS model to determine that psychosocial factors may increase pain in patients.

“MS-associated pain is typically classified as either neuropathic or non-neuropathic in origin,” the authors wrote. “Between 5% and 32% of [MS] regard pain as their most severe symptom.”

612 patients filled out a survey assessing their pain and ways of thinking, and the results were very similar between the neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain groups, indicating a possible correlation.

“All psychosocial factors including distress, negative beliefs about pain and its consequences, and avoidance of activity, were related to pain outcomes,” the team confirmed.

85% of the patients ranked as moderate to severe on the Brief Pain Inventory Short Form, even though 93% were taking pain medications. After taking demographic and other variables into consideration, it was found that the psychosocial factors contributed to 24% of the variance in pain severity and 30% of interference. These indications remained even after disregarding conditions like depression and anxiety.

It was concluded that psychosocial factors are important predictors for pain levels and can help with determining effective treatment.

http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/psychosocial-factors-influence-pain-in-multiple-sclerosis#sthash.iPpG8ZbH.dpuf