Aistė Pranckevičienė, Justina Dimšaitė, Antanas Budėnas, Andrius Radžiūnas


Background and purpose. Research shows that pain catastrophizing might be an important predictor of pain related outcomes in patients with various health conditions despite of objective severity of the illness. This study aimed to evaluate prognostic value of catastrophizing the pain in predicting pain intensity before and one day after the surgery for median nerve decompression in a sample of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Methods. 53 patients with electrodiagnostically proven CTS participated in this study. Patients were assessed before and one day after the surgery for median nerve decompression using the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and the Short Form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). Intensity of pre- and acute postoperative pain was evaluated using visual analogue scales.

Results. Level of reported pain decreased significantly one day after the surgery. No significant correlations were observed between pain catastrophizing and average level of pain during a week before and one day after the surgery. Correlation was observed between highest experienced level of pain after the surgery and preoperative total PCS score. However, pain catastrophizing did not predict neither preoperative nor acute postoperative pain one day after the surgery in multivariate analyses when other study variables were taken into account. Sensory dimension of SF-MPQ was a better predictor of preoperative pain. None of pain and demographic variables predicted acute postoperative pain.

Conclusions. Pain catastrophizing was not found to be a significant predictor of pre- or acute postoperative pain in CTS patients. 


carpal tunnel syndrome, pain catastrophizing, pain intensity, surgery, predictive validity.

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