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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Aug 2023 - 11 Aug 2023

Clinical, Psychology, Sex/Gender/Race, Social Aspects

Human Studies

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 04

J Pain


Biopsychosocial Factors Associated with Pain and Pain-Related Outcomes in Adults and Children with Sickle Cell Disease: A Multivariable Analysis of the GRNDaD Multi-Center Registry.


Kenney MO, Wilson S, Shah N, Bortsov A, Smith WR, Little J, Lanzkron S, Kanter J, Padrino S, Owusu-Ansah A, Cohen A, Desai P, Manwani D, Rehman SSU, Hagar W, Keefe F


Pain is the primary symptomatic manifestation of sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited hemoglobinopathy. The characteristics that influence pain experiences and outcomes in SCD are not fully understood. The primary objective of this study was to use multivariable modeling to examine associations of biopsychosocial variables with a disease-specific measure of pain interference known as pain impact. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Global Research Network for Data and Discovery (GRNDaD) national SCD registry. A total of 657 children and adults with SCD were included in the analysis. This sample was 60% female with a median age of 34 (IQR 26-42 years) and a chronic pain prevalence of 64%. The model accounted for 58% of variance in pain impact. Low social (p < 0.001) and emotional (p < 0.001) functioning, increasing age (p = 0.004), low income (p < 0.001), and high acute painful episodes (p = 0.007) were most strongly associated with high pain impact in our multivariable model. Additionally, multivariable modeling of pain severity and physical function in 2 comparable samples of registry participants revealed that increasing age and low social functioning were also strongly associated with higher pain severity and low physical functioning. Overall, the results suggest that social and emotional functioning are more strongly associated with pain impact in individuals with SCD than previously studied biological modifiers such as SCD genotype, hemoglobin, and percentage fetal hemoglobin. Future research using longitudinally collected data is needed to confirm these findings. PERSPECTIVE: This study reveals that psychosocial (ie, social and emotional functioning) and demographic (ie, age) variables may play an important role in predicting pain and pain-related outcomes in SCD. Our findings can inform future multicenter prospective longitudinal studies aimed at identifying modifiable psychosocial predictors of adverse pain outcomes in SCD.