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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2019 - 31 May 2019

2019 Aug

Br J Anaesth



Chronic pain in critical care survivors: a narrative review.


Kemp HI, Laycock H, Costello A, Brett SJ
Br J Anaesth. 2019 Aug; 123(2):e372-e384.
PMID: 31126622.


Chronic pain is an important problem after critical care admission. Estimates of the prevalence of chronic pain in the year after discharge range from 14% to 77% depending on the type of cohort, the tool used to measure pain, and the time point when pain was assessed. The majority of data available come from studies using health-related quality of life tools, although some have included pain-specific tools. Nociceptive, neuropathic, and nociplastic pain can occur in critical care survivors, but limited information about the aetiology, body site, and temporal trajectory of pain is currently available. Older age, pre-existing pain, and medical co-morbidity have been associated with pain after critical care admission. No trials were identified of interventions to target chronic pain in survivors specifically. Larger studies, using pain-specific tools, over an extended follow-up period are required to confirm the prevalence, identify risk factors, explore any association between acute and chronic pain in this setting, determine the underlying pathological mechanisms, and inform the development of future analgesic interventions.