Chronic Pain in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Cross Sectional Study


1 Department of Pulmonology, Hedi Chaker Hospital, Sfax, Tunisia

2 Department of Pulmonology, Hedi Chaker Hospital, Sfax, Tunisia.


Background: Many individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) report suffering from chronic pain, which affects their quality of life. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, characteristics and impact of chronic pain in patients with COPD, and to explore its possible predictive and aggravating factors.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study. Male individuals with COPD responded to a questionnaire, including mMRC, CAT, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) (composed of Worst pain, Pain Severity Score (PSS) and Pain Interference Score (PIS)), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Patients were divided into group 1 (G1) with chronic pain, and group 2 (G2) without chronic pain.
Results: Sixty eight patients were included. The general prevalence of chronic pain was 72.1% (CI95%:10.7%). The most common site of pain was the chest (54.4%). Analgesics were used in 38.8%. Patients from G1 had more hospital admissions in the past (OR=6.4[1.7–23.4]). Three variables were associated to pain in the multivariate analysis: socio-economic level (OR=4.6[1.1–19.2]), hospital admissions (OR=0.087[0.017–0.45]), and CAT (OR=0.18[0.05– 0.72]). Dyspnea was associated to PIS (p<0.005). A correlation was found between PSS and PIS (r=0.73). Six patients (8.8%) retired because of pain. Patients who had CAT≥10 were more in G1 (OR=4.9[1.6–15.7]). CAT was correlated to PIS (r=0.5). G1 demonstrated higher anxiety scores (p<0.05). There was a moderate positive correlation between depression symptoms and PIS (r=0.33).
Conclusion: Pain should be systematically assessed in COPD patients, regarding its high prevalence. New guidelines should take into consideration pain management to ameliorate patients' quality of life.