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Central neuropathic pain and its relation to the quality of life of a person with a traumatic spinal cord injury
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS. To conduct an exploratory cross-sectional study carried out in the city of Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil) with the aim of evaluating the relation between central neuropathic pain and the quality of life in individuals with central neuropathic pain due to traumatic injury.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. The study examined the cases of 17 adult paraplegic patients with complete traumatic injuries, mainly due to perforations caused by gunshot wounds. The sample was divided into two groups: 1) those with pain, and 2) those with intense pain (more than 20 points according to McGill and eight on the numerical visual scale). The instruments used were the following: the MOS 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the McGill pain questionnaire, oriented towards the descriptors and the numerical visual scale.
RESULTS. The quality of life of patients with central neuropathic pain due to a spinal cord injury is greatly compromised and when the pain is intense the quality of life is even more effected, especially in the following areas: ‘functional capacity’ (p = 0.005), ‘general state of health’ (p = 0.003), ‘mental health’ (p = 0.035), ‘social aspects’ (p = 0.006) and ‘pain’ (p = 0.003).