Development of a screening instrument for risk factors of persistent pain after breast cancer surgery.
Background:Persistent postsurgical pain can have a significant effect on the quality of life of women being treated for breast cancer. The aim of this prospective study was to develop a screening tool to identify presurgical demographic, psychological and treatment-related factors that predict persistence of significant pain in the operated area after 6 months from surgery.Methods:Background and self-reported questionnaire data were collected the day before surgery and combined with treatment-related data. Pain in the operated area was assessed 6 months after surgery with a questionnaire. The Bayesian model was used for the development of a screening tool.Results:Report of preoperative chronic pain, more than four or more previous operations, preoperative pain in the area to be operated, high body mass index, previous smoking and older age were included in the six-factor model that best predicted significant pain at the follow-up in the 489 women studied.Conclusion:A six-factor risk index was developed to estimate the risk of developing significant pain after breast cancer surgery. Neither treatment- nor mood-related variables were included in the model. Identification of risk factors may lead to prevention of persistent postsurgery pain. This tool could be used for target prevention to those who are at the highest risk of developing persistent postsurgery pain.