Evaluation of quality of life and neuropathic pain in patients with low back pain using the Japanese Orthopedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire

Akihiko Hiyama, Masahiko Watanabe, Hiroyuki Katoh, Masato Sato, Daisuke Sakai, Joji Mochida
European Spine Journal 2015, 24 (3): 503-12

PURPOSE: To examine the impact that neuropathic or nociceptive pain has on the quality of life (QOL) in patients with low back pain (LBP) using the Japanese Orthopedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire (JOABPEQ) and the Japanese version of the PainDETECT Questionnaire (PDQ-J).

METHODS: Between June 2012 and December 2013, 650 new patients were treated at our institution for LBP. All patients between the ages of 20 and 79 were asked to complete a set of questionnaires including the PDQ-J, a pain visual analog scale (VAS), the JOABPEQ, and the Short Form 36 (SF-36). Based on the PDQ-J scores, participants were classified into three groups: a neuropathic pain group, a nociceptive pain group, and an intermediate mixed pain group. Among them, patients with clear neuropathic and nociceptive LBP were selected. To investigate the differences between neuropathic and nociceptive LBP, diagnosis of spinal disorder, prevalence, age, gender, duration of symptoms, VAS scores, and self-reported general health (SF-36 and JOABPEQ) were compared between the neuropathic and nociceptive pain groups.

RESULTS: Of 650 patients with LBP, 331 completed the questionnaires and were enrolled in the study. There were 193 men (58.3 %) and 138 women (41.7 %) with a mean age of 54.5 years (range 20-79 years). From the PDQ-J survey, 49 patients (15 %) were classified as having neuropathic pain, and 190 (58 %) were categorized as having nociceptive pain. Patients in the neuropathic pain group had significantly higher VAS scores and lower SF-36 and JOABPEQ scores compared to the nociceptive pain group.

CONCLUSION: We examined the impact of nociceptive or neuropathic LBP on QOL. A comparison of JOABPEQ scores between LBP patients assessed by PDQ-J as having neuropathic pain or nociceptive pain suggests that neuropathic pain affects the social and psychological well-being of LBP patients.

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