August 29, 2003
Health Media Ltd
Although pain is known to affect the lives of MS sufferers, there are few studies that have investigated the intensity of pain and how it affects the lives of these patients.
To address this issue, Dr Kristina Bacher Svendsen from Aarhus University Hospital, and colleagues, undertook a study to assess the prevalence of pain in MS patients and in the general population. The researchers also examined the effects of pain on daily life activities.
The scientists carried out a postal survey of 711 MS patients and 769 members of the general public. The control subjects were age and sex matched to the MS patients.
The main outcome measures of the study were pain prevalence, intensity, treatment required and the impact of pain on daily life.
The results revealed that around 80 per cent of MS patients and 74.7 per cent of the control subjects reported pain in the previous month.
MS patients recorded higher intensity of pain than the general population and daily intake of analgesics was more than 2.5 times that of control subjects.
In addition, MS patients were more likely to report pain that interfered with daily life, most or all of the time and to have more frequent pain in more than one location. The areas most affected areas were the eyes, face, joints and muscles.
The authors conclude, "The frequency of reported pain in MS patients was not higher than in the background population. However, pain intensity, the need for analgesic treatment, and the impact of pain on daily life were higher in MS patients."
Source: Archives of Neurology
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