Associations of health-related quality of life with sociodemographic characteristics, health, pain, and lifestyle factors, and motivation for changing lifestyle in adults living with chronic pain: a cross-sectional exploratory study

Scand J Pain. 2021 Aug 27. doi: 10.1515/sjpain-2021-0062. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: We investigated the associations between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and health, pain and lifestyle factors, as well as motivation for lifestyle changes, in adults living with chronic pain referred to a Danish pain centre.

METHODS: A total of 144 outpatients completed a questionnaire on HRQoL (EQ-5D-5L), health, pain, lifestyle factors (Body Mass Index [BMI], physical activity, smoking, alcohol, physical fitness, eating, sleep and stress) and motivation for lifestyle changes. We used multiple linear regression analyses to assess associations between HRQoL and the independent variables.

RESULTS: The participants (age mean 50 years, 81% females) had ≥2 body pain sites (93%), BMI≥25 (64%), sedentary lifestyle (43%) and multiple (n≥2) elevated metabolic risk factors (58%). Most considered lifestyle important for HRQoL (72%) and expressed moderate to very high motivation for changing lifestyle (92%). Poorer HRQoL in the study population was significantly associated with higher pain intensity in the most painful body site (β=-0.316, p=0.001) and very poor sleep quality (β=-0.410, p=0.024). Serious-to-extreme problems in usual activities were associated with significantly poorer health (β=-0.328, p=0.030).

CONCLUSIONS: Adults living with chronic pain participating in this survey had significantly lower self-evaluated HRQoL than the general population. Lower HRQoL was significantly associated with greater pain intensity and poor sleep quality. Serious-to-extreme problems in usual activities, such as work, study, housework, family and leisure, were associated with poorer self-evaluated health. We observed high frequencies of overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, pain in multiple body sites and multiple lifestyle-related risk factors in the study population. Most participants felt motivated for changing lifestyle. Further interventions addressing pain alleviation, sleep quality, prevention of problems in usual activities and promotion of healthy lifestyle, e.g. physical activity and healthy eating, are needed to estimate the effect of a lifestyle-oriented approach on health and quality of life in people living with chronic pain. The results of this study will inform the research project reg. SJ-703, the Danish the Research Ethics Committee for Region Zealand, Denmark.

PMID:34449176 | DOI:10.1515/sjpain-2021-0062

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