The Acute versus Chronic Pain Questionnaire (ACPQ) and actual pain experience in older people

E.J.A. Scherder, R Smit, P.J. Vuijk, A. Bouma, J.A. Sergeant

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The Acute versus Chronic Pain Questionnaire (ACPQ) was applied to older people. Two groups emerged from an analysis of which an item of each pair (an acute and a chronic affective item) was considered to cause the most suffering. One group of subjects comprised those who expected to suffer more from one or more acute pain items (high-ACPQ group, n = 35). A second group emerged for whom none of the acute items was considered to be a burden (low-ACPQ group, n = 33). It was hypothesized that, compared to the low-ACPQ group, the subjects with high-ACPQ scores selected acute ACPQ-items due to a decline in the experience of chronic affective pain. This hypothesis predicted lower scores on the chronic ACPQ-items and lower scores on scales evaluating the subjects' own chronic affective pain. The results showed that, irrespective of the group, the chronic ACPQ-items were considered to produce the most burdens. However, compared with the low-ACPQ group, the high-ACPQ group reported experiencing significantly more pain from the acute ACPQ-items. Moreover, the latter group indicated suffering less pain from their own chronic pain conditions. The present findings suggest that the selection of one or more acute items of the ACPQ (high-ACPQ group) may point to an alteration in subjects' actual pain experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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Aging and Mental Health


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