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Thread: Use of analgesic drugs in individuals with spinal cord injury.

  1. #1

    Use of analgesic drugs in individuals with spinal cord injury.

    Several interesting findings in this study. Despite an increase in the number of pain-relieving medications taken per person, there was no reduction in the ratings of pain. By the way, the term "affective" refers to the emotional consequences of pain. Perhaps it is not surprising that people whose pain affected them most emotionally are most likely to be taking medication for their pain.

    Budh CN and Lundeberg T (2005). Use of analgesic drugs in individuals with spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Med 37: 87-94. 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. Spinalis SCI Unit Karolinska Hospital Stockholm Sweden.

  2. #2
    Dear Dr. Young,

    Thank you for posting this article. I wonder why these patients were still taking medicines if they weren't effective. I am probably wrong, but I think some of them do it to reduce stress. The pain is still just as intense, especially the lancinating pain, but if you are sedated sufficiently, it can help you get by, This study is in conflict with many of the posts here stating pain was less on meds, so something is wrong. I don't know what.

  3. #3
    Dejerine,

    I agree. I was puzzled by that particular result of the study as well. It either means that the ratings of pain are not accurately reflecting pain intensity or the drugs are ineffective. Regardless of the reason for the lack of reduction of pain ratings, what this study shows clearly is that analgesic drugs are not have much of an effect on people's perception of pain.

    Wise.

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