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Papers: 9 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 11

J Pain




Fleagle TR, Post AA, Dailey DL, Vance CGT, Zimmerman MB, Bayman EO, Crofford LJ, Sluka KA, Chimenti RL


Movement pain, which is distinct from resting pain, is frequently reported by individuals with musculoskeletal pain. There is growing interest in measuring movement pain as a primary outcome in clinical trials, but no minimally clinically important change (MCIC) has been established, limiting interpretations. We analyzed data from 315 participants who participated in previous clinical trials (65 with chronic Achilles tendinopathy; 250 with fibromyalgia) to establish an MCIC for movement pain. A composite movement pain score was defined as the average pain (Numeric Rating Scale (NRS): 0 to 10) during two clinically relevant activities. The change in movement pain was calculated as the change in movement pain from pre-intervention to post-intervention. A Global Scale (GS: 1 to 7) was completed after the intervention on perceived change in health status. Participants were dichotomized into non-responders (GS ≥4) and responders (GS <3). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated to determine threshold values and corresponding sensitivity and specificity. We used the Euclidean method to determine the optimal threshold point of the ROC curve to determine the MCIC. The MCIC for raw change in movement pain was 1.1 (95% CI: 0.9-1.6) with a sensitivity of 0.83 (95% CI: 0.75- 0.92) and specificity of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.72-0.86). For percent change in movement pain the MCIC was 27% (95%CI: 10%- 44%) with a sensitivity of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.70 – 0.88) and a specificity of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.72 – 0.90). Establishing an MCIC for movement pain will improve interpretations in clinical practice and research. PERSPECTIVE: A minimal clinically important change (MCIC) of 1.1- points (95% CI: 0.9-1.6) for movement pain discriminates between responders and non-responders to rehabilitation. This MCIC provides context for interpreting the meaningfulness of improvement in pain specific to movement tasks.