A systematic review and meta-analysis of questionnaires to screen for pain sensitisation and neuropathic like pain in inflammatory arthritis

Zoe Rutter-Locher*, Nikita Arumalla, Sam Norton, Leonie S. Taams, Bruce W. Kirkham, Kirsty Bannister

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Targeted pain relief is a major unmet medical need for patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA), where approximately 40% of patients experience persistent pain. Self-reported questionnaires which report on pain sensitivity and neuropathic like pain may provide an insight into certain pain types to guide targeted treatment. Objective: In this systematic review and meta-analysis we evaluated self-reported pain sensitivity and neuropathic like pain in subjects with IA, as defined by questionnaires. Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO and google scholar were searched for publications and conference abstracts, reporting on pain sensitivity and neuropathic pain using painDETECT, DN4, LANSS, CSI, PSQ and McGill pain questionnaire in adult patients with IA. Risk of bias was assessed using National Institute of Health Quality Assessment Tool. Meta-analysis according to individual questionnaire criteria, was undertaken. Results: 63 studies (38 full text and 25 conference abstracts) were included in the review, reporting on a total of 13,035 patients. On meta-analysis, prevalence of pain sensitivity/neuropathic like pain in IA was 36% (95% CI 31–41%) according to painDETECT, 31% (95% CI 26–37%) according to the DN4, 40% (95% CI 32–49%) according to the LANSS and 42% (95% CI 34–51%) according to the CSI. On meta-regression, prevalence of pain sensitivity/neuropathic pain in RA was significantly lower than SpA (p = 0.01) and PsA (p = 0.002) using the painDETECT questionnaire. Across all questionnaires, pain sensitivity and neuropathic like pain were significantly associated with worse pain severity, disease activity, disability, quality of life and anxiety and depression measures. Studies reporting on whether neuropathic like pain is a predictor of treatment outcome were inconsistent. Conclusion: Pain sensitivity and neuropathic like pain contribute to pain perception in up to 42% of patients with IA. Despite substantial heterogeneity between studies on meta-analysis, this review highlights the large proportion of patients with IA who may experience pain due to underlying mechanisms other than, or in addition to, synovial inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152207
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Volume61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Central sensitization
  • Pain modulation
  • Pain sensitivity
  • Systematic review

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