Pain is recognized as a clinical complication in cystic fibrosis (CF), but the prevalence, characteristics and clinical associations of this co-morbidity have not been systematically reviewed. Electronic searches of six databases were performed. For inclusion in phase 1, studies reported a pain prevalence rate in CF and/or its clinical associations. For phase 2, included studies reported the measurement properties of validity, reliability and responsiveness of an instrument assessing pain in CF. Two independent reviewers rated the quality of evidence (phase 1) and the measurement properties using the 4-point COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist (phase 2). Of the 400 studies identified in the literature, 16 met the inclusion criteria for phase 1 and 5 for phase 2. The mean (SD) quality score (of 16) was 11.8 (2.3). The pooled prevalence of pain in adults with CF was 77% (95% confidence interval (CI): 57%-92%) and in children was 42% (95% CI: 0%-91%). Common regions of pain included back, abdomen, chest and limbs. In children and adults, pain was associated with a poorer quality of life (QOL) and significant interference with treatments. Measurement properties of three instruments (Brief Pain Inventory, Multidimensional Pain Inventory, Daily Pain Assessment-CF) were construct validity and criterion-predictive validity, with variable findings based on 'fair' to 'good' quality studies. Pain is a common problem in both children and adults with CF. It has negative clinical associations with QOL and the ability to successfully undertake treatment. Further research exploring the measurement properties of instruments assessing pain is required.
Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; clinical symptoms; measurement; prevalence of pain; quality of life.
© The Author(s) 2016.