The objectives were to identify subgroups of women with arthritis based upon the multi-dimensional nature of their pain experience and to compare health and socio-demographic variables between subgroups. A latent class analysis of 227 women with self-reported arthritis was used to identify clusters of women based upon the sensory, affective, and cognitive dimensions of the pain experience. Multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between cluster membership and health and sociodemographic characteristics. A three-class cluster model was most parsimonious. 39.5 % of women had a unidimensional pain profile; 38.6 % of women had moderate multidimensional pain profile that included additional pain symptomatology such as sensory qualities and pain catastrophizing; and 21.9 % of women had severe multidimensional pain profile that included prominent pain symptomatology such as sensory and affective qualities of pain, pain catastrophizing, and neuropathic pain. Women with severe multidimensional pain profile have a 30.5 % higher risk of poorer quality of life and a 7.3 % higher risk of suffering depression, and women with moderate multidimensional pain profile have a 6.4 % higher risk of poorer quality of life when compared to women with unidimensional pain. This study identified three distinct subgroups of pain profiles in older women with arthritis. Women had very different experiences of pain, and cluster membership impacted significantly on health-related quality of life. These preliminary findings provide a stronger understanding of profiles of pain and may contribute to the development of tailored treatment options in arthritis.
- Latent class analysis
- Rheumatoid arthritis