Von Korff M, Scher AI, Helmick C, et al. United States National Pain Strategy for Population Research: Concepts, Definitions, and Pilot Data. J. Pain. 2016;17(10):1068-1080.
UNLABELLED: National Pain Strategy population research objectives include: estimating chronic pain prevalence, studying pain treatment with electronic health care data, and developing metrics to assess progress in reducing chronic pain impact. In this article, the National Pain Strategy Population Research Workgroup reviews concepts relevant to achieving these aims. High-impact chronic pain was defined as persistent pain with substantial restriction of life activities lasting 6 months or more. In pilot work, we tested a brief assessment of high-impact chronic pain, and used electronic health records data to describe pain-related health care. A mail survey of adult health plan enrollees (N = 770) reported that 14% had high-impact chronic pain. Relative to persons with lower-impact chronic pain, those with high-impact chronic pain were more often frequent users of health care for pain, reported lower quality of life, greater pain-related interference with activities, and more often reported pain at multiple anatomic locations. Analyses of health care data (N = 289,464) reported that pain patients had higher health care costs compared with others and that pain services were typically delivered in primary care. These results support the feasibility of developing data on chronic pain through national health interview surveys and large electronic health care databases. PERSPECTIVE: Pilot analyses supported the feasibility of brief chronic pain assessments suitable for national health surveys and use of electronic health care databases to develop data regarding trends in the delivery of pain treatments, costs, and effectiveness. These methods are relevant to achieving the aims of the US National Pain Strategy.
Harle CA, Listhaus A, Covarrubias CM, et al. Overcoming barriers to implementing patient-reported outcomes in an electronic health record: a case report. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 2016;23(1):74-79.
In this case report, the authors describe the implementation of a system for collecting patient-reported outcomes and integrating results in an electronic health record. The objective was to identify lessons learned in overcoming barriers to collecting and integrating patient-reported outcomes in an electronic health record. The authors analyzed qualitative data in 42 documents collected from system development meetings, written feedback from users, and clinical observations with practice staff, providers, and patients. Guided by the Unified Theory on the Adoption and Use of Information Technology, 5 emergent themes were identified. Two barriers emerged: (i) uncertain clinical benefit and (ii) time, work flow, and effort constraints. Three facilitators emerged: (iii) process automation, (iv) usable system interfaces, and (v) collecting patient-reported outcomes for the right patient at the right time. For electronic health record-integrated patient-reported outcomes to succeed as useful clinical tools, system designers must ensure the clinical relevance of the information being collected while minimizing provider, staff, and patient burden.


Altered resting-state (RS) brain activity, as a measure of functional connectivity (FC), is commonly observed in chronic pain. Identifying a reliable signature pattern of altered RS activity for chronic pain could provide strong mechanistic insights and serve as a highly beneficial neuroimaging-based diagnostic tool. We collected and analyzed RS functional magnetic resonance imaging data from female patients with urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (N = 45) and matched healthy participants (N = 45) as part of an NIDDK-funded multicenter project ( Using dual regression and seed-based analyses, we observed significantly decreased FC of the default mode network to 2 regions in the posterior medial cortex (PMC): the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and the left precuneus (threshold-free cluster enhancement, family-wise error corrected P \textless 0.05). Further investigation revealed that patients demonstrated increased FC between the PCC and several brain regions implicated in pain, sensory, motor, and emotion regulation processes (eg, insular cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, thalamus, globus pallidus, putamen, amygdala, hippocampus). The left precuneus demonstrated decreased FC to several regions of pain processing, reward, and higher executive functioning within the prefrontal (orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, ventromedial prefrontal) and parietal cortices (angular gyrus, superior and inferior parietal lobules). The altered PMC connectivity was associated with several phenotype measures, including pain and urologic symptom intensity, depression, anxiety, quality of relationships, and self-esteem levels in patients. Collectively, these findings indicate that in patients with urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome, regions of the PMC are detached from the default mode network, whereas neurological processes of self-referential thought and introspection may be joined to pain and emotion regulatory processes.
Individuals with chronic pain show greater vulnerability to depression or anger than those without chronic pain, and also show greater interpersonal difficulties and physical disability. The present study examined data from 675 individuals with chronic pain during their initial visits to a tertiary care pain clinic using assessments from Stanford University s Collaborative Health Outcomes Information Registry (CHOIR). Using a path modeling analysis, the mediating roles of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information Systems (PROMIS) Physical Function and PROMIS Satisfaction with Social Roles and Activities were tested between pain intensity and PROMIS Depression and Anger. Pain intensity significantly predicted both depression and anger, and both physical function and satisfaction with social roles mediated these relationships when modeled in separate 1-mediator models. Notably, however, when modeled together, ratings of satisfaction with social roles mediated the relationship between physical function and both anger and depression. Our results suggest that the process by which chronic pain disrupts emotional well-being involves both physical function and disrupted social functioning. However, the more salient factor in determining pain-related emotional distress seems to be disruption of social relationships, than global physical impairment. These results highlight the particular importance of social factors to pain-related distress, and highlight social functioning as an important target for clinical intervention in chronic pain.
Studies have suggested chronic pain syndromes are associated with neural reorganization in specific regions associated with perception, processing, and integration of pain. Urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) represents a collection of pain syndromes characterized by pelvic pain, namely Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS) and Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC/PBS), that are both poorly understood in their pathophysiology, and treated ineffectively. We hypothesized patients with UCPPS may have microstructural differences in the brain compared with healthy control subjects (HCs), as well as patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal pain disorder. In the current study we performed population-based voxel-wise DTI and super-resolution track density imaging (TDI) in a large, two-center sample of phenotyped patients from the multicenter cohort with UCPPS (N = 45), IBS (N = 39), and HCs (N = 56) as part of the MAPP Research Network. Compared with HCs, UCPPS patients had lower fractional anisotropy (FA), lower generalized anisotropy (GA), lower track density, and higher mean diffusivity (MD) in brain regions commonly associated with perception and integration of pain information. Results also showed significant differences in specific anatomical regions in UCPPS patients when compared with IBS patients, consistent with microstructural alterations specific to UCPPS. While IBS patients showed clear sex related differences in FA, MD, GA, and track density consistent with previous reports, few such differences were observed in UCPPS patients. Heat maps illustrating the correlation between specific regions of interest and various pain and urinary symptom scores showed clustering of significant associations along the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic-cortical loop associated with pain integration, modulation, and perception. Together, results suggest patients with UCPPS have extensive microstructural differences within the brain, many specific to syndrome UCPPS versus IBS, that appear to be localized to regions associated with perception and integration of sensory information and pain modulation, and seem to be a consequence of longstanding pain.
Carroll IR, Hah JM, Barelka PL, et al. Pain Duration and Resolution following Surgery: An Inception Cohort Study. Pain Med. 2015;16(12):2386-2396.
OBJECTIVE: Preoperative determinants of pain duration following surgery are poorly understood. We identified preoperative predictors of prolonged pain after surgery in a mixed surgical cohort. METHODS: We conducted a prospective longitudinal study of patients undergoing mastectomy, lumpectomy, thoracotomy, total knee replacement, or total hip replacement. We measured preoperative psychological distress and substance use, and then measured pain and opioid use after surgery until patients reported the cessation of both opioid consumption and pain. The primary endpoint was time to opioid cessation, and those results have been previously reported. Here, we report preoperative determinants of time to pain resolution following surgery in Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: Between January 2007 and April 2009, we enrolled 107 of 134 consecutively approached patients undergoing the aforementioned surgical procedures. In the final multivariate model, preoperative self-perceived risk of addiction predicted more prolonged pain. Unexpectedly, anxiety sensitivity predicted more rapid pain resolution after surgery. Each one-point increase (on a four point scale) of self-perceived risk of addiction was associated with a 38% (95% CI 3-61) reduction in the rate of pain resolution (P = 0.04). Furthermore, higher anxiety sensitivity was associated with an 89% (95% CI 23-190) increased rate of pain resolution (P = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Greater preoperative self-perceived risk of addiction, and lower anxiety sensitivity predicted a slower rate of pain resolution following surgery. Each of these factors was a better predictor of pain duration than preoperative depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, past substance use, fear of pain, gender, age, preoperative pain, or preoperative opioid use.
Haddon DJ, Jarrell JA, Diep VK, et al. Mapping epitopes of U1-70K autoantibodies at single-amino acid resolution. Autoimmunity. 2015;48(8):513-523.
The mechanisms underlying development of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) autoantibodies are unclear. The U1-70K protein is the predominant target of RNP autoantibodies, and the RNA binding domain has been shown to be the immunodominant autoantigenic region of U1-70K, although the specific epitopes are not known. To precisely map U1-70K epitopes, we developed silicon-based peptide microarrays with \textgreater5700 features, corresponding to 843 unique peptides derived from the U1-70K protein. The microarrays feature overlapping peptides, with single-amino acid resolution in length and location, spanning amino acids 110-170 within the U1-70K RNA binding domain. We evaluated the serum IgG of a cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; n = 26) using the microarrays, and identified multiple reactive epitopes, including peptides 116-121 and 143-148. Indirect peptide ELISA analysis of the sera of patients with SLE (n = 88) revealed that ∼14% of patients had serum IgG reactivity to 116-121, while reactivity to 143-148 appeared to be limited to a single patient. SLE patients with serum reactivity to 116-121 had significantly lower SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) scores at the time of sampling, compared to non-reactive patients. Minimal reactivity to the peptides was observed in the sera of healthy controls (n = 92). Competitive ELISA showed antibodies to 116-121 bind a common epitope in U1-70K (68-72) and the matrix protein M1 of human influenza B viruses. Institutional Review Boards approved this study. Knowledge of the precise epitopes of U1-70K autoantibodies may provide insight into the mechanisms of development of anti-RNP, identify potential clinical biomarkers and inform ongoing clinical trails of peptide-based therapeutics.
Hah JM, Sharifzadeh Y, Wang BM, et al. Factors Associated with Opioid Use in a Cohort of Patients Presenting for Surgery. Pain Res. Treat. 2015;2015:829696.
Objectives. Patients taking opioids prior to surgery experience prolonged postoperative opioid use, worse clinical outcomes, increased pain, and more postoperative complications. We aimed to compare preoperative opioid users to their opioid naïve counterparts to identify differences in baseline characteristics. Methods. 107 patients presenting for thoracotomy, total knee replacement, total hip replacement, radical mastectomy, and lumpectomy were investigated in a cross-sectional study to characterize the associations between measures of pain, substance use, abuse, addiction, sleep, and psychological measures (depressive symptoms, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, somatic fear and anxiety, and fear of pain) with opioid use. Results. Every 9-point increase in the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain-Revised (SOAPP-R) score was associated with 2.37 (95% CI 1.29-4.32) increased odds of preoperative opioid use (p = 0.0005). The SOAPP-R score was also associated with 3.02 (95% CI 1.36-6.70) increased odds of illicit preoperative opioid use (p = 0.007). Also, every 4-point increase in baseline pain at the future surgical site was associated with 2.85 (95% CI 1.12-7.27) increased odds of legitimate preoperative opioid use (p = 0.03). Discussion. Patients presenting with preoperative opioid use have higher SOAPP-R scores potentially indicating an increased risk for opioid misuse after surgery. In addition, legitimate preoperative opioid use is associated with preexisting pain.
Kay AW, Bayless NL, Fukuyama J, et al. Pregnancy Does Not Attenuate the Antibody or Plasmablast Response to Inactivated Influenza Vaccine. J. Infect. Dis. 2015;212(6):861-870.
BACKGROUND: Inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) is recommended during pregnancy to prevent influenza infection and its complications in pregnant women and their infants. However, the extent to which pregnancy modifies the antibody response to vaccination remains unclear, and prior studies have focused primarily on hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) titers. A more comprehensive understanding of how pregnancy modifies the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination will aid in maximizing vaccine efficacy. METHODS: Healthy pregnant women and control women were studied prior to, 7 days after, and 28 days after vaccination with IIV. HI titers, microneutralization (MN) titers, and the frequency of circulating plasmablasts were evaluated in pregnant versus control women. RESULTS: Pregnant women and control women mount similarly robust serologic immune responses to IIV, with no significant differences for any influenza strain in postvaccination geometric mean HI or MN titers. HI and MN titers correlate, though MN titers demonstrate more robust changes pre- versus postvaccination. The induction of circulating plasmablasts is increased in pregnant women versus controls (median fold-change 2.60 vs 1.49 [interquartile range, 0.94-7.53 vs 0.63-2.67]; P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: Pregnant women do not have impaired humoral immune responses to IIV and may have increased circulating plasmablast production compared to control women.