Quality of life assessed with Short Form 36 – a comparison between two populations with long-term musculoskeletal pain disorders

To assess quality of life (QoL) in two groups of patients with long-term musculoskeletal pain with and without psychiatric co-morbidity and to compare them with a reference group of normative controls. The patients in both study groups were sick-listed full or part time for 3 months or more. Method.The patients were recruited from a company health service and consulting psychiatry. A generic QoL questionnaire, the SF-36, was used to assess QoL. Each group was compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. Results.Both groups reported a pronounced impairment of QoL (p<0.001) compared with their age- and gender-matched populations. The greatest impairment was seen among the patients referred for psychiatric assessment (n=30). The patients in the company health service (n=42) reported significantly higher QoL with regard to the dimensions mental health (p<0.028), social functioning (p<0.034) and role emotional (p<0.040) compared with the patients referred for psychiatric assessment. Conclusion.Patients with long-term pain in the company health care and patients with psychiatric co-morbidity, sick-listed full or part-time reported severely impaired QoL with regard both to physical, social and mental dimensions. Psychiatric co-morbidity reported even more pronounced impairment of emotional, social and mental dimensions of QoL which might indicate dysfunctional coping strategies.

Source: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09638281003734383

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