Preoperative Predictors of Pain Catastrophizing, Anxiety, and Depression in Patients Undergoing Total Joint Arthroplasty

J Arthroplasty. 2016 Dec;31(12):2750-2756. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2016.05.056. Epub 2016 Jun 3.


Background: The relationship between pain catastrophizing and emotional disorders including anxiety and depression in osteoarthritic patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is an emerging area of study. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of these factors with preoperative patient characteristics.

Methods: A prospective cohort study of preoperative TJA patients using the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A/HADS-D) was conducted. Preoperative measures included visual analog pain scale (VAS), Harris Hip and Knee Society scores, Oxford Score, and Kellgren-Lawrence grade. Logistic and quantile regression were used to assess the relationship between preoperative characteristics and PCS or HADS, adjusting for covariate effects.

Results: We recruited 463 TJA patients. VAS pain (odds ratio [OR] 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.45) and Oxford (OR 1.13; 95% CI 1.07-1.20) were significant predictors for PCS and its subdomains excluding rumination. Oxford was the only significant predictor for abnormal HADS-A (OR 1.10; 95% CI 1.04-1.17). VAS pain (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.02-1.52) and Oxford (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.01-1.17) were significant predictors for abnormal HADS-D. The quantile regression showed similar patterns of association, with female gender, younger age, and higher ASA also associated with HADS-A.

Conclusion: The most important predictor of catastrophizing, anxiety and/or depression in TJA patients is preoperative pain and poor subjective function. At-risk patients include those with increased pain and generally good clinical function, as well as younger women with significant comorbidities. Such patients should be identified and targeted psychological therapy implemented preoperatively to optimize coping strategies and adaptive behavior to mitigate potential for inferior TJA outcomes including pain and patient dissatisfaction.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; pain catastrophizing; preoperative; total joint arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement / psychology*
  • Catastrophization / etiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis / psychology
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Pain / complications*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies