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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2019


Human Studies

2019 Dec

J Pain



Clinical and Demographic Predictors of Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program Treatment Response.


Huffman KL, Mandell D, Lehmann JK, Jimenez X, Lapin BR
J Pain. 2019 Dec; 20(12):1470-1485.
PMID: 31175957.


Patients treated in interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation programs (ICPRPs) show long-term improvements in symptoms, however outcomes may vary across heterogenous patient subpopulations. This longitudinal retrospective study characterizes the influence of opioids, mood, patient characteristics and baseline symptoms on pain and functional impairment (FI) in 1681 patients 6-months to 12-months post-treatment in an ICPRP incorporating opioid weaning. Linear mixed models showed immediate and durable treatment benefits with non-uniform worsening at follow up which slowed over time. Latent class growth analysis identified three post-treatment trajectories of pain and FI: mild symptoms and durable benefits, moderate symptoms and durable benefits, and intractable symptoms. A fourth pain trajectory showed immediate post-treatment improvement and worsening at follow up. Whether a patient was weaned from opioids was not predictive of treatment trajectory. Racial ethnic minority status, higher levels of post-treatment depression, and lower perceived treatment response were associated with less resolution (moderate symptoms) or intractable symptoms. Not having a college education was predictive of intractable or worsening pain and a moderate course of FI. Older age and male gender was associated with intractable FI. Treatment outcomes may be improved by the development of targeted interventions for patients at risk of poor recovery and/or deteriorating long-term course. Perspective: This study examined predictors of treatment response in 1681 patients treated in an interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation program incorporating opioid weaning. Opioid weaning did not predict outcome. Higher levels of symptoms, lower levels of education, and being a racial-ethnic minority were associated with a less salubrious long-term treatment response.