I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Apr 2022 - 22 Apr 2022


2022 Apr 19

Sci Rep



The impact of COVID-19 on patients with chronic pain seeking care at a tertiary pain clinic.


Ziadni MS, You DS, Cramer EM, Anderson SR, Hettie G, Darnall BD, Mackey SC
Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 19; 12(1):6435.
PMID: 35440688.


Empirical data on the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain scarce, especially among patients with chronic pain. We conducted a cross-sectional study matched by season to examine patient-reported health symptoms among patients with chronic pain pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic onset. Survey responses were analyzed from 7535 patients during their initial visit at a tertiary pain clinic between April 2017-October 2020. Surveys included measures of pain and pain-related physical, emotional, and social function. The post-COVID-19 onset cohort included 1798 initial evaluations, and the control pre-COVID-19 cohort included 5737 initial evaluations. Patients were majority female, White/Caucasian, and middle-aged. The results indicated that pain ratings remained unchanged among patients after the pandemic onset. However, pain catastrophizing scores were elevated when COVID-19 cases peaked in July 2020. Pain interference, physical function, sleep impairment, and emotional support were improved in the post-COVID-19 cohort. Depression, anxiety, anger, and social isolation remained unchanged. Our findings provide evidence of encouraging resilience among patients seeking treatment for pain conditions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our findings that pain catastrophizing increased when COVID-19 cases peaked in July 2020 suggests that future monitoring and consideration of the impacts of the pandemic on patients' pain is warranted.