Pain at multiple body sites and health-related quality of life in older adults: results from the North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis Project

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Lacey, Rosie J. ; Belcher, John ; Rathod, Trishna ; Wilkie, Ross ; Thomas, Elaine ; McBeth, John (2014)
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Journal: Rheumatology (Oxford, England), volume 53, issue 11, pages 2,071-2,079 (issn: 1462-0324, eissn: 1462-0332)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4202023, doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu240
  • Subject: cross-sectional survey | Osteoarthritis | mental health | multisite pain | Cross-Sectional Studies | Pain Measurement | Population Surveillance | Female | Clinical Science | Pain | aged | Great Britain | health-related quality of life | Middle Aged | Health Status | physical health | pain sites | Aged, 80 and over | Quality of Life | Surveys and Questionnaires | Humans | Incidence | Male | R1
    mesheuropmc: humanities

OBJECTIVES: Number of pain sites (NPS) is a potentially important marker of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) but remains unexplored in older people. This cross-sectional study investigated whether, in older people including the oldest old, NPS was independently associated with poorer mental and physical HRQoL and if the association was moderated by age. METHODS: A postal questionnaire sent to a population sample of adults aged ≥50 years in North Staffordshire, UK, included the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS), a blank body pain manikin, socio-demographic, health behaviour and morbidity questions. Participants shaded sites of pain lasting ≥1 day in the past 4 weeks on the manikin. OA consultation data were obtained for participants consenting to medical records review. RESULTS: A total of 13 986 individuals (adjusted response 70.6%) completed a questionnaire, of which 12 408 provided complete pain data. The median NPS reported was 4 [interquartile range (IQR) 0-8]. General linear models showed that an increasing NPS was significantly associated with poorer MCS (β = -0.43, 95% CI -0.46, -0.40) and PCS (β = -0.87, 95% CI -0.90, -0.84). Adjustment for covariates attenuated the associations but they remained significant ( MCS: β = -0.28, 95% CI -0.31, -0.24; PCS: β = -0.63, 95% CI -0.66, -0.59). The association between NPS and MCS or PCS was moderated by age, but the strongest associations were not in the oldest old. CONCLUSION: NPS appears to be a potentially modifiable target for improving physical and mental HRQoL in older people. Future analyses should investigate the influence of NPS on HRQoL over time in older people.
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