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Impaired psychomotor ability and attention in patients with persistent pain : A cross-sectional comparative study

Gunnarsson, Helena; Grahn, Birgitta LU and Agerström, Jens LU (2016) In Journal of Pain Research 9. p.825-835
Abstract

Background and aims: Patients with pain have shown cognitive impairment across various domains. Although the pain qualities vary among patients, research has overlooked how cognitive performance is affected by the duration and persistence of pain. The current study sought to fill this gap by examining how qualitatively different pain states relate to the following cognitive functions: sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotor ability. Patients and methods: Patients with musculoskeletal pain in primary care were divided into three pain groups: acute pain (duration <3 months), regularly recurrent pain (duration >3 months), and persistent pain (duration >3 months). These groups were then compared with healthy... (More)

Background and aims: Patients with pain have shown cognitive impairment across various domains. Although the pain qualities vary among patients, research has overlooked how cognitive performance is affected by the duration and persistence of pain. The current study sought to fill this gap by examining how qualitatively different pain states relate to the following cognitive functions: sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotor ability. Patients and methods: Patients with musculoskeletal pain in primary care were divided into three pain groups: acute pain (duration <3 months), regularly recurrent pain (duration >3 months), and persistent pain (duration >3 months). These groups were then compared with healthy controls. The MapCog Spectra Test, the Color Word Test, and the Grooved Pegboard Test were used to measure sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotor ability, respectively. Results: Patients with persistent pain showed significantly worse sustained attention and psychomotor ability compared with healthy controls. The acute pain group showed a significant decrease in psychomotor ability, and the regularly recurrent pain group showed a significant decrease in sustained attention. These results remained unchanged when age, education, and medication were taken into account. Conclusion: Persistent musculoskeletal pain seems to impair performance on a wider range of cognitive tasks than acute or regularly recurrent pain, using pain-free individuals as a benchmark. However, there is some evidence of impairment in psychomotor ability among patients with acute pain and some impairment in sustained attention among patients with regularly recurrent pain. Implications: Caregivers may need to adjust communication methods when delivering information to cognitively impaired patients.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Attention, Cognitive control, Cognitive impairment, Musculoskeletal pain, Persistent pain, Psychomotor ability
in
Journal of Pain Research
volume
9
pages
11 pages
publisher
Dove Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:84992482345
  • wos:000389837700001
ISSN
1178-7090
DOI
10.2147/JPR.S114915
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e8efe7ad-9168-45ee-bfce-81b3fb9bf5a8
date added to LUP
2016-11-15 11:19:01
date last changed
2017-10-16 09:46:46
@article{e8efe7ad-9168-45ee-bfce-81b3fb9bf5a8,
  abstract     = {<p>Background and aims: Patients with pain have shown cognitive impairment across various domains. Although the pain qualities vary among patients, research has overlooked how cognitive performance is affected by the duration and persistence of pain. The current study sought to fill this gap by examining how qualitatively different pain states relate to the following cognitive functions: sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotor ability. Patients and methods: Patients with musculoskeletal pain in primary care were divided into three pain groups: acute pain (duration &lt;3 months), regularly recurrent pain (duration &gt;3 months), and persistent pain (duration &gt;3 months). These groups were then compared with healthy controls. The MapCog Spectra Test, the Color Word Test, and the Grooved Pegboard Test were used to measure sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotor ability, respectively. Results: Patients with persistent pain showed significantly worse sustained attention and psychomotor ability compared with healthy controls. The acute pain group showed a significant decrease in psychomotor ability, and the regularly recurrent pain group showed a significant decrease in sustained attention. These results remained unchanged when age, education, and medication were taken into account. Conclusion: Persistent musculoskeletal pain seems to impair performance on a wider range of cognitive tasks than acute or regularly recurrent pain, using pain-free individuals as a benchmark. However, there is some evidence of impairment in psychomotor ability among patients with acute pain and some impairment in sustained attention among patients with regularly recurrent pain. Implications: Caregivers may need to adjust communication methods when delivering information to cognitively impaired patients.</p>},
  author       = {Gunnarsson, Helena and Grahn, Birgitta and Agerström, Jens},
  issn         = {1178-7090},
  keyword      = {Attention,Cognitive control,Cognitive impairment,Musculoskeletal pain,Persistent pain,Psychomotor ability},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  pages        = {825--835},
  publisher    = {Dove Press},
  series       = {Journal of Pain Research},
  title        = {Impaired psychomotor ability and attention in patients with persistent pain : A cross-sectional comparative study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S114915},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2016},
}