Psychosocial Factors Influence Pain Severity in Multiple Sclerosis

Perceptions of pain, as well as outside support may affect pain severity and interference.

Pain affects around two-thirds of people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). Biomedical treatments show limited efficacy. A recently developed cognitive-behavioural model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) pain suggests several psychosocial factors may worsen pain and related disability. The current study investigated whether psychosocial factors drawn from this model explain significant amounts of the variance in pain severity and interference over and above measures of disease severity and pain subtype.

All pwMS reported significant pain and associated disability even though over 90% were taking pain medication. Psychosocial factors identified as important in predicting pain severity and, to a greater extent, pain interference are potentially modifiable and may be important treatment targets for both pain subtypes.

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