PURPOSE: Central post-stroke pain (CPSP), a chronic pain condition of stroke patients, can impair activities of daily living and worsen the quality of life (QOL), thereby negatively influencing the rehabilitation process. However, CPSP remains an underestimated complication of stroke. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and types of new-onset chronic pain and to identify the relation between pain and QOL in stroke patients.
METHODS: All patients hospitalized because of a diagnosis of stroke were included. Questionnaire was used. Pain intensity was measured using Numerical rating scale (NRS), and pain characteristics were assessed using DN4. QOL was measured using SF-36. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the characteristics and pain data, and chi-square test was used to compare QOL categorical data between the nociceptive and neurological pain groups.
RESULTS: CPSP development was reported by 34% of the post-stroke pain patients. Perceived QOL was low in both groups, especially with respect to the physical functioning, bodily pain, physical-role functioning, emotional-role functioning, and mental health domains. However, no significant difference was observed in QOL between the nociceptive and neurological pain groups (p<.05).
CONCLUSION: Our results indicated that CPSP is a common and disabling complication that is difficult to treat, often decreases QOL, and may negatively affect rehabilitation treatment.