• Line Koldsø Meincke
5. Term (Master thesis), Medicine, Master (Master Programme)
Muscle and skeletal disorders represent one of the largest groups of chronic disorders in Denmark with 800.000 people living with chronic pain. This has a negative impact on quality of life. Furthermore, biological, psychological and social factors have been found to directly affect pain behavior. Thus, patients suffering from chronic pain should be more likely to also have mental disorders such as depression.
The aim was to examine whether patients with back pain and suspicion of mental disorders, reported higher levels of pain than patients without this suspicion.

The study was based on a cross-sectional study of 656 patients who visited the Department of Rheumatology between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. All patients responded to a questionnaire about pain, which was defined by a numerical rating scale (NRS) ranging from 0 to 10 with mild pain ranging 0-6 and severe pain 7-10.
Additionally, patients were screened for mental disorders through questionnaires. These were assessed using logistic regression models to estimate associations between suspected mental suffering and reported level of pain.

The screenings for mental disorders caused suspicion of somatization (81%), health anxiety (65%), anxiety (30%) and depression (32%). Suspicion of mental disorders increased the odds of reporting severe pain (somatization OR (2.5), health anxiety OR (2.4) anxiety OR (1.6) and depression OR (1.5)). Women compared to men had odds ratio (OR) 1,5 and thus had a greater risk of being in severe pain, while patients with high educations had lower risks of suffering from severe pain, compared to patients with basic educations (OR 0.37).

In conclusion, suspicion of mental disorders was associated with an increased reporting of pain in patients who visited the Department of Rheumatology in relation to neck and back pain. Moreover, women and people with basic educations were associated with reporting of more severe pains.
Publication date1 Feb 2017
Number of pages24
ID: 245958381