Background Pain is reported to be a major subjective symptom in SLE. In order to provide a confirmatory and supportive meeting in rheumatology nursing it is important to gain an understanding for how patients with SLE experience disease related pain.
Objectives To investigate extent and characteristics of self-reported pain related to SLE.
Methods 83 patients, all fulfilling ACR criteria for SLE, participated in this cohort study and were asked to respond to self-assessment questionnaires covering their experience of pain related to SLE: visual analog scale (VAS) and Short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) were used to capture the extent and characteristics of pain related to SLE. SLAM was used to examine the most common pain location. For clinically relevant analysis the patients were divided into two groups: patients who estimated pain related to SLE 1) low pain group (LPG) = VAS 0-39 mm and 2) high pain group (HPG) = VAS 40-100 mm respectively, as VAS ≥40 mm commonly count for clinically relevant pain.
Results Low pain group (LPG) consists of 63 (76%) and High pain group (HPG) of 20 (24%) patients respectively. Median for SF-MPQ total index in LPG was 2.0 (IQR 0-5) and HPG 14.5 (IQR 5.5-20.5). Comparative statistical analysis showed a statistical significant difference between LPG and HPG (p≤0.001). The median number of descriptive words used to describe pain for LPG was 2 (IQR 0-4.0) and for HPG 8.5 (IQR 4.0-10.5) words (p≤0.001). Correlation was found between self-reported pain related to SLE on VAS and numbers of describing words (r=0.78, p≤0.001). In both LPG and HPG the most used words to describe moderate and severe pain related to SLE were “aching” and “tender”. In HPG “burning” and in LPG “stabbing” also were used frequently. In HPG, 70% reported their present pain (PPI) as distressing. Arthralgia was the most common location of pain due to SLAM in both LPG and HPG.
Conclusions High pain group (HPG) reported higher values in SF-MPQ total index and used a greater number of words to describe their pain related to SLE compare to low pain group (LPG). The words most used in both LPG and HPG to describe moderate and severe pain were tender and aching. Most patients in HPG described their present pain as distressing. Arthralgia was the most common pain location in both LPG and HPG. These findings may vitalize and enhance understanding of patients experience of pain related to SLE and may thus contribute to a confirmatory and trustful caring communication.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared