Predictors of Moderate or Severe Pain 6 Months After Orthopaedic Injury: A Prospective Cohort Study Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To determine predictors of moderate or severe pain 6 months after orthopaedic injury. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Two adult level 1 trauma centers in Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1290 adults admitted with orthopaedic injuries and registered by the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participant self-reported pain and health status using an 11-point numerical rating scale and the 12-item Short-Form health survey, respectively. RESULTS: The prevalence of moderate or severe pain was 48% [95% confidence interval (CI), 45-51] at discharge and 30% (95% CI, 28-33) at 6 months postinjury. Failure to complete high school [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.5 (95% CI, 1.1-1.9)], self-reported preinjury pain-related disability [AOR 1.8 (95% CI, 1.3-2.5)], eligibility for compensation [AOR 2.1 (95% CI, 1.6-2.8)], and moderate or severe pain at discharge from the acute hospital [AOR 2.4 (95% CI, 1.8-3.1)] were found to be independent predictors of moderate or severe pain at 6 months postinjury. CONCLUSIONS: Moderate or severe pain is commonly reported 6 months after orthopaedic trauma. Pain intensity at discharge and the effects of a "no-fault" compensation system are potentially modifiable factors that might be addressed through intervention studies to reduce the burden of persistent pain after orthopaedic trauma.


  • Williamson, Owen
  • Epi, Grad Dip Clin
  • Gabbe, Belinda J
  • Physio, B
  • Cameron, Peter A
  • Edwards, Elton R
  • Richardson, Martin D

publication date

  • February 2009

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