PURPOSE: To study the impact on health status as measured by SF-36 in groups of subjects having chronic musculoskeletal pain with different degree of generalization: No chronic pain (NCP), chronic regional pain (CRP), chronic widespread pain (CWP), CWP with a stricter 'Manchester' definition (CWP-M), and clinically defined fibromyalgia (FM). The study also examines the association between psychosocial and lifestyle background variables, and these pain-groups.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study with a postal survey to 3928 subjects, constituting a representative sample of the adult general population, followed by clinical examination in a selected group of subjects with CWP. CWP and FM were diagnosed according to ACR 1990 fibromyalgia criteria. Health status was measured by SF-36 Health Survey.
RESULTS: Patients with CWP, CWP-M, and FM were found to present with more severe impairment of health status than the other two population groups. Several psychosocial factors, such as belonging to a lower socio-economic group, being an immigrant, living in a compromised housing area, having lower educational level, experiencing lower social support and having a family history of chronic pain, were associated with the populations with CWP and FM.
CONCLUSIONS: The spectrum of impact on health and association to background variables, with respect to a stricter definition of CWP, indicates that these factors are important to attend to in the understanding and management of CWP and FM.
© 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.
Abingdon: Taylor & Francis, 2005. Vol. 27, no 12, 675-683 p.