229352 Pain sensitivity, physical activity and the language of pain among aging non-Hispanic White women with knee osteoarthritis

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Bridgett Rahim-Williams, PhD, MPH, MA , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Willliam Parker Hinson, BS , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Kemar Mapp, BA, MPH , College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Rida Laeeq , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: Pain is a debilitating and disabling condition for aging women with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The language of pain has been shown to be a valid and reliable measure of the subjective experience of pain among individuals with similar pain syndromes. This pilot study investigated pressure pain sensitivity and pain descriptors among aging non-Hispanic White (nHW) women with knee OA. Methods: Study included 20 nHW women between the ages of 55-70. Baseline mechanical (algometer) pressure and post-cycling pressure was applied at the medial joint of the most affected arthritic knee. Researchers assessed threshold ratings (first feeling) of pain. Participants also completed the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Results: Mean baseline mechanical pressure pain scores before cycling and mean post-cycling mechanical pressure pain scores were low and not significantly different for ratings of pain sensitivity; 2.23 (1.48) compared to 2.09 (1.46) respectively. However, verbal descriptors of pain sensitivity varied. Women described chronic knee pain as moderately aching (60%); moderately tender (45%), moderately tiring/exhaustive (30%), moderately throbbing and moderately sharp (25%). Mild pain was described as throbbing, hot/burning, tiring/exhaustive and tender (35%). Conclusion: Research shows that the pain experiences of women are unique, and under-treated. Experimental laboratory measures serve as a proxy for assessing chronic, clinical pain. However, assessing the language of pain intensity is important as an additional measure of pain sensitivity especially for aging women; a group who is under-studied in pain research, and a group for whom effective pain treatment to improve health-related quality of life is a public health imperative.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To identify and list language descriptors of pain intensity. 2. To describe measures of laboratory and clinical pain ratings.

Keywords: Women's Health, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator (PI) of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.