Characteristics of Patients with Non-Cancer Pain and Perceived Severity of COVID-19 Related Stress
Scherrer JF, Miller-Matero LR, Salas J, Sullivan MD, Secrest S, Autio K, Wilson L, Amick M, DeBar L, Lustman PJ, Gebauer S, and Ahmedani B. Characteristics of Patients with Non-Cancer Pain and Perceived Severity of COVID-19 Related Stress. Mo Med 2022; 119(3):229-236
UNLABELLED: Synopsis Patients with non-cancer pain reported increased pain and pain interference during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We determined if pain, prescription opioid use, and comorbidities were associated with perceived COVID-19-related stress as the pandemic peaked. Analysis of survey data revealed that depression/anxiety, pain severity, and pain interference were most strongly and consistently associated with greater stress due to COVID-19 related changes in lifestyle, worsening of emotional/mental health and worsening pain. Identifying specific stressful experiences that most impacted patients with non-cancer pain may help target public health and treatment interventions.
BACKGROUND: During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with chronic pain reported increased pain severity and interference. This study measured the association between pain, prescription opioid use, and comorbidities with perceived COVID-19-related stress as the pandemic peaked in the United States.
METHODS: From 9/2020 to 3/2021, the first 149 subjects from a prospective cohort study of non-cancer pain, completed a survey which contained the Complementary and Integrative Research (CAIR) Pandemic Impact Questionnaire (C-PIQ). Respondents also reported whether the pandemic has contributed to their pain or opioid use. Bivariate comparisons explored patient characteristics with each CAIR domain.
RESULTS: Respondents mean age was 54.6 (±11.3) years, 69.8% were female, 64.6% were White. Respondent characteristics were not associated with reading/watching/thinking about the pandemic or with worry about health. Depression/anxiety (p=0.003), using any prescription opioid in the prior three months (p=0.009), higher morphine milligram equivalent used (p=0.005), higher pain severity (p=0.011), and higher pain interference (p=0.0004) were all positively and significantly associated with moderate to severe stress due to COVID-19 related lifestyle changes. Depression/anxiety, pain severity, and pain interference were positively associated with COVID-19-related worsening emotional/mental health. Depression/anxiety were significantly (p
CONCLUSION: Depression, anxiety, pain severity, and pain interference were most strongly and consistently associated with COVID-19 changes in way of life, worsening of emotional/mental health, and worsening pain. Identifying specific stressful experiences that most impacted patients with noncancer pain may inform public health and treatment interventions.
Medical Subject Headings
Analgesics, Opioid; COVID-19; Chronic Pain; Depression; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pandemics; Prospective Studies; SARS-CoV-2; United States