Evaluation of Existing Pain Measures to Capture the OA Pain Experience

Despite the importance of pain in osteoarthritis (OA), little is known about the qualities of OA pain, including the features that are most important to people living with OA. The purpose of this study was to: a) increase our understanding of the pain experience in people with OA; and b) assess the adequacy of available pain measures to capture this experience.

Focus groups were conducted separately in English-speaking men and women aged 55+ years with symptomatic hip/knee OA. Pain characteristics (intensity, quality, location, frequency and duration, and variability), factors affecting pain (e.g., activity, weather and temperature), modifications made to cope with pain (e.g., medications, gadgets/devices, keeping active), pain impact (e.g., on social activities, mobility, and mood), and discussion about pain with others (e.g., social comparisons) were identified from analysis of focus group transcripts as domains that are important to understanding the experience of OA pain. We evaluated how well existing pain measures capture the pain experience of people living with disabling OA and found them to be inadequate. Improved evaluation of pain in OA would facilitate assessment and treatment of OA, as well as the choice of outcome measures for OA clinical trials.

Investigators

Gillian Hawker (PI), Monique Gignac

Staff

Angela Wall, Melissa French

Date

2004-2005
  • Hawker GA, French MR, Cibere J, Jordan JM, Davis AM, March L, Suarez-Almazor M, Dieppe P. Preliminary Psychometric Testing of a New Osteoarthritis Pain Measure. Submitted to the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. May 2007.
  • Hawker GA, Stewart L, French MR, Cibere J, Jordan JM, March L, Suarez-Almazor M, Dieppe P. Understanding the Pain Experience in Hip and Knee OA. Submitted to the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. May 2007.
  • French M, Wall A, Frankel L, Gignac M, Hawker GA. Existing pain measures fail to capture the experience of pain in people with OA. Arthritis Rheum 2005; 52 (Suppl 9): S653.
Last modified: June 11, 2007