Which patients with chronic pain are more likely to improve pain biology knowledge following education?

Joshua W. Pate*, Stephanie Veage, Susan Lee, Mark J. Hancock, Julia M. Hush, Verity Pacey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Pain education is an important part of multidisciplinary management of chronic pain. The characteristics of people likely to have the most improvement in pain biology knowledge following pain education are unknown.

    Objective: To identify baseline factors predicting changes in pain biology knowledge in adults with chronic pain following a 2‐hour multidisciplinary pain education session.

    Methods: Fifty‐five adults with chronic pain attended a 2‐hour pain education session prior to a multidisciplinary assessment at a pain clinic. Patients completed the 12‐item revised Neurophysiology of Pain Questionnaire (rNPQ, score /12) before and after the pain education session. The primary outcome was change in pain biology knowledge, evaluated with the change in rNPQ score. Ten preselected predictors were investigated using univariate models followed by multivariable models with a manual forwards‐building process.

    Results: Education level and age were significantly associated with change in rNPQ in the univariate models. Participants with higher levels of education had, on average, 1.96 (0.68 to 3.23) points more improvement in rNPQ score than those with lower levels of education. For every 10 years older a participant was, their rNPQ scores changed on average by 0.5 (0.1 to 0.8) points less. In the multivariable model, only education level remained significant, explaining 17% of the variance (R2 =0.17). Clinical variables assessed (pain severity, pain interference, pain self‐efficacy, depression, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing) did not predict knowledge change.

    Conclusion: This study suggests that, of those patients with chronic pain who choose to attend pain education, more educated patients are more likely to improve their pain biology knowledge after a pain education session.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-369
    Number of pages7
    JournalPain Practice
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    • chronic pain
    • multidisciplinary pain clinic
    • neurophysiology of pain questionnaire
    • pain biology knowledge
    • pain education


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