Patient coping and expectations predict recovery after major orthopaedic trauma
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BACKGROUND: Persistent post-surgical pain and associated disability are common after a traumatic fracture repair. Preliminary evidence suggests that patients' beliefs and perceptions may influence their prognosis. METHODS: We used data from the Fluid Lavage of Open Wounds trial to determine, in 1560 open fracture patients undergoing surgical repair, the association between Somatic PreOccupation and Coping (captured by the SPOC questionnaire) and recovery at 1 yr. RESULTS: Of the 1218 open fracture patients with complete data available for analysis, 813 (66.7%) reported moderate to extreme pain at 1 yr. The addition of SPOC scores to an adjusted regression model to predict persistent pain improved the concordance statistic from 0.66 to 0.74, and found the greatest risk was associated with high (≥74) SPOC scores [odds ratio: 5.63; 99% confidence interval (CI): 3.59-8.84; absolute risk increase 40.6%; 99% CI: 30.8%, 48.6%]. Thirty-eight per cent (484 of 1277) reported moderate to extreme pain interference at 1 yr. The addition of SPOC scores to an adjusted regression model to predict pain interference improved the concordance statistic from 0.66 to 0.75, and the greatest risk was associated with high SPOC scores (odds ratio: 6.06; 99% CI: 3.97-9.25; absolute risk increase: 18.3%; 95% CI: 11.7%, 26.7%). In our adjusted multivariable regression models, SPOC scores at 6 weeks post-surgery accounted for 10% of the variation in short form-12 physical component summary scores and 14% of short form-12 mental component summary scores at 1 yr. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst patients undergoing surgical repair of open extremity fractures, high SPOC questionnaire scores at 6 weeks post-surgery were predictive of persistent pain, reduced quality of life, and pain interference at 1 yr. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00788398.
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