The longitudinal relationships between pain severity and disability versus health-related quality of life and costs among chronic low back pain patients

E. N. Mutubuki, Y. Beljon, E. T. Maas, F. J. P. M. Huygen, R. W. J. G. Ostelo, M. W. van Tulder, J. M. van Dongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies found higher levels of pain severity and disability to be associated with higher costs and lower health-related quality of life. However, these findings were based on cross-sectional data and little is known about the longitudinal relationships between pain severity and disability versus health-related quality of life and costs among chronic low back pain patients. This study aims to cover this knowledge gap by exploring these longitudinal relationships in a consecutive cohort. Methods: Data of 6316 chronic low back pain patients were used. Measurements took place at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Pain severity (Numeric pain rating scale; range: 0–100), disability (Oswestry disability index; range: 0–100), health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3L: range: 0–1), societal and healthcare costs (cost questionnaire) were measured. Using linear generalized estimating equation analyses, longitudinal relationships were explored between: (1) pain severity and health-related quality of life, (2) disability and health-related quality of life, (3) pain severity and societal costs, (4) disability and societal costs, (5) pain severity and healthcare costs, and (6) disability and healthcare costs. Results: Higher pain and disability levels were statistically significantly related with poorer health-related quality of life (pain intensity: − 0.0041; 95% CI − 0.0043 to − 0.0039; disability: − 0.0096; 95% CI − 0.0099 to − 0.0093), higher societal costs (pain intensity: 7; 95% CI 5 to 8; disability: 23; 95% CI 20 to 27) and higher healthcare costs (pain intensity: 3; 95% CI 2 to 4; disability: 9; 95% CI 7 to 11). Conclusion: Pain and disability were longitudinally related to health-related quality of life, societal costs, and healthcare costs. Disability had a stronger association with all outcomes compared to pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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