Relations between self-rated musculoskeletal symptoms and signs and psychological distress in chronic neck and shoulder pain

Scand J Rehabil Med. 1998 Dec;30(4):235-42.


The purposes of the present study were to describe physical and psychological characteristics of 55 chronic pain patients with predominantly nociceptive neck and shoulder complaints, and to explore relationships between physical assessment methods, self-reported pain and psychological distress. The physical measures included cervical and shoulder mobility and muscle tenderness. The Pain Severity and Interference subscales from the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), Becks Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), and a pain drawing assessed self-reports of pain and psychological distress. The number of tender points (TP score) correlated significantly with pain severity, (p < 0.01) Interference (p < 0.05), pain drawing score (p < 0.05), BDI (p < 0.05) and state anxiety (p < 0.05). No significant correlation was seen between TP score and age, pain duration or trait anxiety. The results suggest that there are relationships between observers' ratings of muscle tenderness (TP score) and self-reports of pain severity, interference of pain and psychological distress in patients with chronic cervico-brachial pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain* / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Shoulder Pain* / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological*