Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD): Responses to pharmacological challenges and psychometric tests
2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, ISSN 1877-8860, Vol. 3, no 3, 151-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The present study challenges chronic WhiplashAssociatedDisorders (WAD)-subjects to a pharmacological intravenous (i.v.) test with morphine, ketamine, and active placebo (midazolam). The aim was to describe the short-term responses to drugs and the assumed heterogeneity in the patterns of responses. We related the different responder groups to the results from psychometrictests.
The study includes 95 patients, all with chronic WAD and referred to our departments. They answered a questionnaire including the following psychometric instruments relevant for chronic pain: Beck Depression Inventory, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Multidimensional Pain Inventory, Life Satisfaction Checklist, SF36 and EuroQol. The subjects also went through sessions with separate infusions of morphine (0.3 mg/kg), ketamine (0.3 mg/kg) and midazolam (0.05 mg/kg). Infusion time was 30 min followed by a 2-h post-infusion assessment. Assessments were made using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain intensity and unpleasantness and by statements of per cent pain relieved. A categorical pain rating scale was also used. A positive response was defined as ≥50% decrease of the VAS-level on two consecutive assessment points during the test sessions, anything less was a non response. The placebo responders were defined as those with a positive response to the active placebo infusion.
The tests were completed by 94 subjects and 26% of these were placebo responders. Among the placebo non responders, 47% responded to morphine, 41% to ketamine, 25% to both drugs and 37% to neither morphine nor ketamine (pain intensity assessments). Similar proportions were found in the assessments of pain unpleasantness and per cent pain relieved. Approximately one in four subjects (27%, pain intensity assessment) did not respond to any of the drugs tested. This relatively high proportion of non responders seemed to be worst cases in some aspects of the psychometrictests. Generally, this non responder group had a trend to score worse for most items in the psychometrictests with some reaching significance in a univariate analysis. This result was confirmed in a multivariate context, although the results indicated only small differences between the groups. All three substances showed significant pain relief compared to baseline on all assessment points. On most variables, morphine and ketamine were significantly more effective compared to the active placebo.
There are different subgroups among subjects with chronic WAD with variations in responses to i.v. morphine, ketamine, and midazolam (active placebo). Subjects with chronic WAD who did not respond to any of the drugs tested scored badly in some aspects of the psychometric instruments.
The present study confirms one aspect of the heterogeneity in the population with chronic WAD. The study does not elucidate precise pain mechanisms but taken together with other studies exploring other aspects, it stresses the importance of individualizing the assessment and treatment of subjects with chronic WAD. A common clinical experience is that depression, anxiety and maladaptive coping strategies often are obstacles for successful medical treatment of chronic pain. The present study supports this experience and emphasizes the need for assessment of psychometric variables when planning the treatment of chronic WAD.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 3, no 3, 151-163 p.
Whiplash associated disorders; Neck; Ketamine; Morphine; Placebo; Psychometric test
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79965DOI: 10.1016/j.sjpain.2012.01.003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79965DiVA: diva2:544867