Multiple Sclerosis, 1 December 2003, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 605-611(7)
Ehde D.M.; Gibbons L.E.; Chwastiak L.; Bombardier C.H.; Sullivan M.D.; Kraft G.H.
 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA  Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA  Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA
This study examined the prevalence, intensity, interference, and biopsychosocial correlates of pain in a large community-based sample of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Mail surveys were returned by 442 members of the King County (WA) MS Association.
Average pain intensity, pain-related activity interference, depressive symptoms and severity of MS were assessed.
Forty-four percent reported persistent, bothersome pain in the three months prior to completing the survey.
Participants with pain reported an average pain intensity rating of 5.2 (SD = 2.3) on the 0 (no pain) to 10 (pain as bad as could be) scale.
Twenty-seven percent reported severe pain (score of 7-10), while 51% of those with pain rated the interference of their pain with daily activities as none to minimal.
Twenty percent reported severe interference in activities as a result of pain.
In multivariate modeling, MS illness severity, marital status, and self-ratings of overall health were significantly associated with pain-related interference with activities.
Approximately a fourth of this sample described having a chronic pain problem characterized by severe pain intensity and significant pain-related interference with activities.
Disability due to pain may be more important than previously recognized for the MS population.