Objective: To estimate the prevalence of inadequate pain relief (IPR) among patients with symptomatic knee OA prescribed analgesic therapy and to characterize patients with IPR.
Methods: Patients ≥50 years old with physician-diagnosed knee OA who had taken topical or oral pain medication for at least 14 days were recruited for this prospective non-interventional study in six European countries. Pain and function were assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and the WOMAC; quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the 12-item short form. IPR was defined as an average pain score of >4 out of 10 on BPI question 5.
Results: Of 1187 patients enrolled, 68% were female and the mean age was 68 years (s.d. 9); 639 (54%) met the definition of IPR. Patient responses for the BPI average pain question were well correlated with responses on the WOMAC pain subscale (Spearman r = 0.64, P < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, patients with IPR had greater odds of being female [adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 1.90 (95% CI 1.46, 2.48)] and having OA in both knees [adjOR 1.48 (95% CI 1.15, 1.90)], higher BMI, longer OA duration, depression or diabetes. Patients with IPR (vs non-IPR) were more likely to have worse QoL, greater function loss and greater pain interference.
Conclusion: IPR is common among patients with knee OA requiring analgesics and is associated with large functional loss and impaired QoL. Patients at particular risk of IPR, as characterized in this study, may require greater attention towards their analgesic treatment options.
Trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ (NCT01294696).
Keywords: analgesic therapy; inadequate pain relief; knee; osteoarthritis.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.