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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 809071, 7 pages
Research Article

Symptom Burden, Medication Detriment, and Support for the Use of the 15D Health-Related Quality of Life Instrument in a Chronic Pain Clinic Population

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, 8-120 Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7
2School of Public Health, 3-12 University Terrace, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2T4

Received 5 October 2010; Revised 7 January 2011; Accepted 19 January 2011

Academic Editor: Howard S. Smith

Copyright © 2011 Bruce D. Dick 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.


Chronic noncancer pain is a prevalent problem associated with poor quality of life. While symptom burden is frequently mentioned in the literature and clinical settings, this research highlights the considerable negative impact of chronic pain on the individual. The 15D, a measure of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), is a user-friendly tool with good psychometric properties. Using a modified edmonton symptom assessment scale (ESAS), we examined whether demographics, medical history, and symptom burden reports from the ESAS would be related statistically to HRQOL measured with the 15D. Symptom burden, medication detriment scores, and number of medical comorbidities were significant negative predictors of 15D scores with ESAS symptom burden being the strongest predictor. Our findings highlight the tremendous symptom burden experienced in our sample. Our data suggest that heavier prescription medication treatment for chronic pain has the potential to negatively impact HRQOL. Much remains unknown regarding how to assess and improve HRQOL in this relatively heterogeneous clinical population.