Experiencing Painful Osteoarthritis: What Have We Learned From Listening?

Gillian A Hawker


Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2009;21(5):507-512. 

In This Article


The growing burden of disability associated with painful osteoarthritis has brought about renewed interest and investigation into the determinants and consequences of pain in osteoarthritis. Collectively, these studies indicate that the osteoarthritis pain experience is multidimensional, reflecting the influence of biological (e.g. pain mechanisms), psychological (e.g. mood and coping), and social factors (e.g. social support). Qualitative and quantitative research to date supports the need for measures that distinguish aspects of the pain itself (intensity, frequency, quality, location, etc.) from the consequences of the pain on activity limitations and participation restriction, mood, sleep, and overall HRQOL. Improved measurement of painful osteoarthritis will undoubtedly lead to an improved understanding of pain mechanisms in osteoarthritis and thus mechanism-based treatment decision making.


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