USE OF ANALGESIC DRUGS IN INDIVIDUALS WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY
Cecilia Norrbrink Budh A1 A2 and Thomas Lundeberg A1 A3
A1 Spinalis SCI Unit Karolinska Hospital Stockholm Sweden
A2 Department of Public Health Sciences Karolinska Institutet Stockholm Sweden
A3 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Karolinska Institutet Stockholm Sweden
Objective: This study set out to elucidate which factors are associated with or predictive for the use of analgesic drugs in patients with spinal cord injury and pain. Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study with a partly prospective cohort. Patients: One hundred and twenty-three patients with a spinal cord injury matched for gender, age, level of lesion and completeness of injury. Methods: Questionnaires consisting of ratings in the areas of pain intensities, pain unpleasantness, life satisfaction, anxiety and depression, and questions about consumption of analgesic drugs were posted to the 123 patients. Results: Of the 101 patients (82.1%) who returned the questionnaire, 90 (46 women and 44 men) still suffered from pain and were thus included in the study. Statistical analysis showed that although the number of pain medications used per person had increased in the last 3 years, the ratings of pain were unaffected. Logistic regression analyses also revealed that the use of pain-relieving medication was associated with higher ratings on the affective component of pain, lower ratings of leisure activities and the presence of stabbing/cutting pain. Conclusion: The affective component of pain is the main predictor for the use of analgesics in patients with a spinal cord injury. Complementary strategies, including a multidisciplinary approach, for relieving the unpleasantness of pain need to be explored further.
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