Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures on Spanish People with Chronic Pain: An Online Study Survey

J Clin Med. 2020 Nov 5;9(11):3558. doi: 10.3390/jcm9113558.


The corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the most important healthcare and societal challenges to have emerged in the last century. It may have effects on both physical and psychosocial health, but studies considering the impact on vulnerable populations, such as people with chronic pain, are needed. In this cross-sectional study, an online survey of relevant chronic pain domains, coping strategies, triggers and potential related variables was answered by 502 Spanish individuals with chronic pain. Participants were mainly women (88%) with longstanding chronic pain and moderate to high pain intensity and disability. The perception of pain aggravation and the most pain-related outcomes were observed. Contextual variables such as job insecurity, worries about the future, people cohabiting, being close to someone who had passed away, or being potentially infected with COVID-19 were related to worse outcomes. More than half the participants altered their pain management style (e.g., increased medication intake) and several changes occurred with respect to pain triggers (cognitions, feelings of insecurity and loneliness, and sleeping problems were more frequently reported as triggers during lockdown). Our preliminary results highlight the negative effects of lockdown on patients with chronic pain as well as the need to make available cost-effective and remotely accessible healthcare resources for counteracting them.

Keywords: COVID-19; chronic pain; coping; lockdown; triggers; well-being.