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Pain Common One Year Later in Trauma Patients

Injury-related pain moderately severe

MONDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of trauma patients report having injury-related moderately severe pain a year after injury, according to an article in the March issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Frederick P. Rivara, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of pain in 3,047 trauma patients 12 months after injury, and predictors of chronic pain in these patients.

The researchers found that 62.7 percent of patients reported injury-related pain, which was present in more than one body region in most patients. The mean pain severity in the past month, as assessed by the 10-point Chronic Pain Grade Scale, was 5.5. Reported pain varied with age and was more common in women and patients with untreated depression before injury, the authors note. Patients who had pain at three months were more likely to have pain, and to have pain of greater severity, at 12 months.

"Most trauma patients have moderately severe pain from their injuries one year later," Rivara and colleagues conclude. "Earlier and more intensive interventions to treat pain in trauma patients may be needed."

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