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Original Research: TRANSPLANTATION |

Prevalence and Impact of Pain on the Quality of Life of Lung Transplant Recipients*: A Prospective Observational Study

François Girard, MD; Philippe Chouinard, MD; Daniel Boudreault, MD; Charles Poirier, MD; Chloé Richard, BS; Monique Ruel, RN; Pasquale Ferraro, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Anesthesiology (Drs. Dirard, Chouinard, and Boudreault, and Ms. Ruel), Medicine (Dr. Poirier and Ms. Richard), and Surgery (Dr. Ferraro), CHUM Hôpital Notre-Dame, Montreal, Canada.

Correspondence to: François Girard, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, CHUM Hopital Notre-Dame, 1560 Sherbrooke East, Montreal, Canada, H2L 4M1; e-mail: francois.girard.chum@ssss.gouv.qc.ca



Chest. 2006;130(5):1535-1540. doi:10.1378/chest.130.5.1535
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Study objective: To study the prevalence and impact of pain on the quality of life (QOL) of lung transplant recipients.

Design and patients: Prospective, observational, cross-sectional study. Ninety-six lung transplant recipients (> 3 months after transplantation) completed questionnaires measuring the severity and impact of pain (Brief Pain Inventory), anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory), QOL (Short Form-36 version 2 [SF-36v2]), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]).

Setting: University medical center lung transplant outpatient clinic.

Results: The prevalence of pain in lung transplant recipients was 49%. Patients with pain were older, more likely to have undergone unilateral lung transplantation (64% vs 40%, p = 0.03), and were more likely to have lung emphysema (55% vs 38%, p = 0.004). Only a pulmonary diagnosis of lung emphysema remained an independent predictor for postoperative pain in a logistic regression model. Average (± SD) score of the BDI was 9.6 ± 7.8 and 5.8 ± 5.8 (p = 0.005) for patients with and without pain, respectively. Patients with and without pain did not significantly differ in terms of anxiety. Pain-free patients had a significantly higher physical component score than patients with pain in the SF-36v2 (mean, 48.7 ± 8.6 vs 38.6 ± 9.8, p < 0.0001, respectively), while the mental component scores were not statistically different between the two groups.

Conclusions: Lung transplant recipients have a high prevalence of pain. Patients with lung emphysema as their preoperative diagnosis are more likely to have pain. The occurrence of pain is associated with a decreased QOL in lung transplant recipients.


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