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Chronic neck pain and anxiety-depression: prevalence and associated risk factors

PainSci » bibliography » Elbinoune et al 2016
Tags: neck, mind, head/neck, spine

Two articles on PainSci cite Elbinoune 2016: 1. The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks2. Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation

PainSci commentary on Elbinoune 2016: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

A study from the Department of Obvious Science, but it’s good to check: this survey of 80 patients with neck pain lasting longer than three months confirmed that, yes, they were anxious and depressed (68% and 55% of them), and the more it hurt the more anxious and depressed they were. They were somewhat more likely to be depressed if they had radiculopathy (probably because it’s more alarming and debilitating), and less educated patients also suffered more.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

INTRODUCTION: Chronic pain in rheumatology often has a psychic impact, which may aggravate the daily life of patients. Chronic neck pain, as an example, is a frequent reason for consultation. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with neck pain, and identify risk factors associated with their occurrence.

METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study that concerned 80 patients with neck pain lasting for more than 3 months, seen in rheumatology consultations. All patients with symptomatic neck pain or psychological history or receiving psychotropic medication were excluded from the study. For each patient, we determined the sociodemographic characteristics and clinical ones. The anxious and depressed mood was assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD).

RESULTS: Of the 80 patients, 67 (83.8%) were women. Average age of our population was 51.8± 11.8 years. Median duration of symptoms was 24 months [12, 48]. Mean VAS pain was 63.9% ± 12.5, mean VAS functional discomfort was 60.9% ± 14.2 and mean VAS disability was 59.8% ± 14.7. 32 patients (40%) were illiterate and 18 (22.5%) had university level. Anxiety was found in 54 (68.4%) and 44 (55.7%) patients were depressed. In univariate analysis, VAS disability was statistically linked to anxiety (OR:1.05; 95%CI: 1.01-1.08; p = 0.02). The cervicobrachial neuralgia (CBN) was significantly associated with depression (OR: 3.33; 95%CI: 1.20-9.23; p = 0.02). Primary education level had a statistically significant relationship with anxiety (OR: 6.00; 95%CI: 1.03-34.84; p = 0.04) and depression (OR: 5.00; 95%CI: 1.09-22.82; p = 0.03). In multivariate analysis, VAS disability and CBN were independently associated with anxiety and depression respectively.

CONCLUSION: This study underlines the fact that anxiety and depression are prevalent in chronic neck pain (CNP) patients. Furthermore, disability and CBN which are linked to CNP can predict which patient is at higher risk of psychological distress.

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