Patientenkollektiv Deutscher Schmerztherapeutischer Einrichtungen: Kerndaten von mehr als 10.000 Patienten

Translated title of the contribution: Characterization of chronic pain patients in German pain centers: Core data from more than 10,000 patients

J. Frettlöh*, C. Maier, H. Gockel, M. Zenz, M. Hüppe

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In 1998 the board of the DGSS introduced a computerized documentation system named QUAST (quality assurance in pain therapy) building the foundation for a large, anonymous database that served as a data source for the statistical characterization of clinically relevant profiles of patients in German pain clinics. Methods: A total of 10,054 data files collected between 1998 and 2004, including socio-demographic as well as psychometric and pain parameters were analyzed. Results: The main pain diagnoses found in the database sample were back pain (37%), neuropathic pain (21.4%), soft tissue or arthralgia pain (19.5%) and headache (10.6%). The average duration of illness upon presentation at pain clinics was 7 years, nearly 20% contacted it within the first year. Of the sample, 43.8% of the patients were in the second chronicity stage and 39.0% in the third stage of the Mainz Pain Staging System (MPSS). Psychological measurements concerning despression, pain disability and quality of life indicated a great amount of psychological distress. Pronounced differences between main diagnostic groups were observed not only for psychological factors but also for direct pain parameters. Conclusions: The documented data differ from other population-based data collections. In contrast to common belief there are a considerable number of patients who find access to specialized pain therapy institutions at an early stage of their illness. The hitherto regular use of generic, syndrome-overlapping diagnosis and treatment tools should be reconsidered taking into account the differences found between the main pain diagnosis groups. Lastly, this analysis provides current data on the psychological state of chronic pain patients showing a high degree of psychological distress and underlying the need of psychotherapeutic interventions in the treatment of chronic pain patients.

Translated title of the contributionCharacterization of chronic pain patients in German pain centers: Core data from more than 10,000 patients
Original languageGerman
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)576-591
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 12.2009


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