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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 7071907, 7 pages
Research Article

Psychological Distress in Out-Patients Assessed for Chronic Pain Compared to Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

D. Rice,1,2 S. Mehta,1,2,3 A. Shapiro,3 J. Pope,1,3,4 M. Harth,3,4 P. Morley-Forster,1,3,4 K. Sequeira,1,2,3 and R. Teasell1,2,3

1Aging, Rehabilitation, and Geriatric Care, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada N6C 0A7
2Parkwood Institute, London, ON, Canada N6C 0A7
3Western University, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7
4St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London, ON, Canada N6C 0A7

Received 30 August 2015; Accepted 2 December 2015

Copyright © 2016 D. Rice et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Patients diagnosed with chronic pain (CP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) represent two samples with overlapping symptoms, such as experiencing significant pain. Objectives. To compare the level of psychological distress among patients diagnosed CP attending a specialist pain clinic with those attending a specialist RA clinic. Measures. A cross-sectional study was conducted at an academic specialist chronic pain and rheumatology clinic. Participants. 330 participants included a CP group () and a RA group () completed a booklet of questionnaires regarding demographic characteristics, duration, and severity of their pain. Psychological and personality variables were compared between the CP and RA participants using a Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA). Results. Level of psychological distress based on the subscales of the DASS (depression, anxiety, and stress), PASS (escape avoidance, cognitive anxiety, fear of pain, and physiological anxiety), and PCS (rumination, magnification, and helplessness) was significantly higher in the CP group compared to the RA group. Categorization of individuals based on DASS severity resulted in significant differences in rates of depression and anxiety symptoms between groups, with a greater number of CP participants displaying more severe depressive and anxiety symptoms. Discussion and Conclusions. This study found greater levels of psychological distress among CP individuals referred to an academic pain clinic when compared to RA patients referred to an academic rheumatology clinic.