ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Chronic pain and multimorbidity in stroke rehabilitation


Introduction. Chronic pain and multimorbidity are common among stroke survivors and can negatively impact their functional outcomes and independence.
The aim of the study was to investigate the frequency of chronic pain and multimorbidity in post-stroke patients, and their relationships with functional independence.
Material and methods. A database of 270 post-stroke patients consecutively enrolled in rehabilitation programs was used. We recorded demographic data, the number of comorbidities, presence of pain, its intensity and localization, the number of pain regions, and the patient’s functional independence. Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) Scale, and Barthel Index were used for this purpose. The statistical analysis was made with SPSS version 24, including descriptive statistics and correlation.
Results. We revealed a mean number of 3.6 comorbidities, and 60% of patients reported the presence of pain (42% chronic and 18% acute pain). The musculoskeletal pain was the most common type of pain (48.7%), followed by mixed (28.3%) and neuropathic pain (23.0%). A positive correlation between age and the number of painful regions (r=0.366, p<0.001), as well as the number of comorbidities (r=0.520, p<0.001) was registered. We found negative correlations with functional independence (age: r= – 0.467, p<0.001; number of pain regions: r= – 0.227, p=0.016; number of comorbidities: r= – 0.552, p<0.001 and VAS r= -0.220, p=0.019). The number of comorbidities was positively correlated with VAS (r=0.251, p=0.007).
Conclusions. Chronic musculoskeletal pain and multimorbidity had a negative impact on outcomes and functional independence in post stroke rehabilitation.
Keywords: stroke, rehabilitation, multimorbidity, musculoskeletal pain, chronic pain, disability.

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Address for correspondence:
Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Manual Therapy, “Nicolae Testemitanu” State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Address: 19/3 Miron Costin Str., Chisinau, Republic of Moldova


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Melnic A, Bulai M, Pascal O, Tabirta A, Plesca S,
Chihai V. Chronic pain and multimorbidity in stroke rehabilitation. Arch Balk Med Union. 2023;58(4):368-375.