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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 30

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Influence of the Cognitive and Emotional Status of Patients with Chronic Pain on Treatment Success (Reduction in Pain Intensity and Adherence to Pharmacotherapy): A Prospective Study.


Hnatešen D, Radoš I, Dimitrijević I, Budrovac D, Omrčen I, Pavić R, Gusar I, Čebohin M, Šolić K
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 30; 19(23).
PMID: 36498036.


This prospective study aimed to determine the cognitive and emotional status among patients with chronic pain and to examine the potential influence on the treatment success, measured by the reduction in pain intensity and adherence to pharmacotherapy. A total of seventy patients were followed for two months. The results of the comparison between patients who did and did not follow the physician's instructions regarding adherence to pharmacotherapy showed a significant difference in cognitive status and a reduction in pain intensity. Patients who followed the physician's instructions on taking analgesics had significantly higher scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) of cognitive status and a substantially higher reduction in pain intensity. Scores on the MoCA test provide statistically significant indications regarding patients' decision to follow instructions regarding adherence to pharmacotherapy. Scores on the MoCA test, anxiety, age, and pain intensity (measured with a numeric rating scale-NRS) on admission were identified as potential predictors for the reduction in pain intensity. The linear regression model was statistically significant ( = 40.0, < 0.001), explained between 43.5% and 61.1% of variance regarding the reduction in pain intensity. The findings of this study show that cognitive status, measured with MoCA, and emotional status, measured with the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21), significantly influence the reduction in pain intensity and adherence to pharmacotherapy. The results suggest that cognitive and emotional status may be potential predictors of treatment success. This finding points to the importance of a biopsychosocial approach in the treatment of chronic pain, where an important emphasis can be placed on the psychosocial determinants of pain.