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Clinical Journal of Pain:
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000089
Original Article: PDF Only

Persistence of Nonmalignant Musculoskeletal Chronic Pain Among Community-dwelling Older People - A Population Based Longitudinal Study in Finland.

Karttunen, Niina M. MSc (Pharm); Turunen, Juha H.O. PhD (Pharm); Ahonen, Riitta S. PhD; Hartikainen, Sirpa A. PhD

Published Ahead-of-Print
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Objective: To determine the persistence of chronic pain among community-dwelling older persons and to identify factors related to persistent chronic pain.

Methods: In this prospective longitudinal study, a random sample of Finnish community-dwelling people aged 76 years and older (n=256) were interviewed annually by a trained nurse at three time points. Data on prevalence, duration, location and intensity of nonmalignant musculoskeletal pain, analgesic use, demographics and health characteristics were collected during the interviews.

Results: Chronic pain was reported by 48.9% of the participants at baseline, with 74.4% of them experiencing persistent chronic pain, i.e. they reported chronic pain at all three study points. Persistent chronic pain was associated with poor self-rated health (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.26, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.03-4.98, mobility difficulties (AOR=2.80, 95% CI 1.22-6.43) and arthrosis or rheumatoid arthritis (AOR=3.07, 95% CI 1.47-6.42) when compared to persons without chronic pain. However, only 15% of persons suffering persistent chronic pain were using analgesics on a regular basis and one out of every five was not taking any analgesics.

Conclusion: Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a highly persistent condition among community-dwelling older persons and it is related to poor health and mobility difficulties. In addition, the use of daily analgesic is low despite the continuous character of chronic pain.

(C) 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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