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Pain in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
Background: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease which affects the central nervous system. Many patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from persistent pain during the disease course. In Iranian cases, pain has not been regarded as it should be.
Objective: The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence and types of pain in Iranian multiple sclerosis patients.
Material and methods: This cross sectional study was conducted in the multiple sclerosis clinic of Sina Hospital between October 2014 and August 2015. Eighty eight multiple sclerosis patients were enrolled. Participants were asked to fill a valid and reliable Persian version of the Brief Pain Inventory. Demographic data (sex, age), disease duration and disease course were extracted from patients’ medical files. All patients were examined by an expert neurologist to obtain Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
Results: The mean age and mean duration of disease were 30.4±7.6 years and 5.9±4 years, respectively. Median EDSS was 1. All patients reported pain. The most common sites of pain were upper extremities (52.3%). Higher the EDSS score, higher pain interference with the evaluated items. By using the worst pain intensity as a dependent variable, and age, sex, EDSS, disease duration and type of disease as independent variables, regression analysis showed that the EDSS score was an independent predictor for the intensity of pain in this group of patients.
Conclusion: Pain is a common symptom found in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Thus, an accurate and thorough assessment of pain should be integrated in the routine evaluation of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, pain, Iran.