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Predictors of chronic pain intensity, spread and sensitivity in the general population: A two-year follow-up study from the swepain cohort

Journal article
Authors Britt Larsson
Elena Dragioti
Anna Grimby-Ekman
Björn Gerdle
Jonas Björk
Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume 51
Issue 3
Pages 183-192
ISSN 16501977
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Metrics
Pages 183-192
Language en
Keywords chronic pain characteristics, comorbidities., follow-up, general population, sociodemographic
Subject categories Epidemiology


© 2019 Foundation of Rehabilitation Information. Objective: To determine whether the intensity, spread and sensitivity of chronic pain can be predicted using demographic features, socioeconomic conditions and comorbidities. Design: A longitudinal study design was employed. Data was collected at baseline and at 2-year followup. Setting: General population in south-eastern Sweden. Subjects: A representative stratified random sample of 34,000 individuals, between 18 and 85 years of age, selected from a sampling frame of 404,661 individuals based on the Swedish Total Population Register. Methods: Eligible individuals were sent postal surveys in 2013 and 2015. The 2 surveys included the same questions about basic demographic data, comorbidities, and chronic pain intensity, spread and sensitivity. Results: Several socio-demographic features and comorbidities at baseline were significant predictors of characteristics of pain (intensity, spread and sensitivity) at the 2-year follow-up. When characteristics of pain at baseline were included in the regression analyses they were relatively strong significant predictors of characteristics of pain after 2 years. After this adjustment there were fewer socio-demographic and comorbidity predictors; the effect estimates for those significant predictors had decreased. Conclusion: Clinical assessment should focus on several characteristics of pain and include a broad medical screening to capture the overall burden of pain in adults from a longitudinal perspective.

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