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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Feb 2024 - 23 Feb 2024

2024 Feb 20



Quantitative sensory testing, psychological factors, and quality of life as predictors of current and future pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis.


Hertel E, Arendt-Nielsen L, Olesen AE, Andersen MS, Petersen KK


Substantial interindividual variability characterizes osteoarthritis (OA) pain. Previous findings identify quantitative sensory testing (QST), psychological factors, and health-related quality of life as contributors to OA pain and predictors of treatment outcomes. This exploratory study aimed to explain baseline OA pain intensity and predict OA pain after administration of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in combination with paracetamol for 3 weeks. The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain score was used to estimate OA pain presentation. One hundred one patients were assessed at baseline and follow-up using QST (pressure pain thresholds and temporal summation of pain [TSP]), symptoms of depression and anxiety, pain catastrophizing scales (PCSs), and health-related quality of life. Linear regression with backward selection identified that PCS significantly explained 34.2% of the variability in baseline KOOS pain, with nonsignificant contributions from TSP. Pain catastrophizing score and TSP predicted 29.3% of follow-up KOOS pain, with nonsignificant contributions from symptoms of anxiety. When assessed separately, PCS was the strongest predictor (32.2% of baseline and 24.1% of follow-up pain), but QST, symptoms of anxiety and depression, PCS, and quality of life also explained some variability in baseline and follow-up knee OA pain. Further analyses revealed that only TSP and PCS were not mediated by any other included variables, highlighting their role as unique contributors to OA pain presentation. This study emphasizes the importance of embracing a multimodal approach to OA pain and highlights PCS and TSP as major contributors to the baseline OA pain experience and the OA pain experience after OA treatment.