Pain was the main driver of seeking medical care in an Arthritis Care & Research study of patients with osteoarthritis. In addition to pain, insomnia and depression increased health care use.
In the study of 2976 patients, half of participants presented with at least one of the three symptoms (pain, insomnia, depression), and approximately 34% and 29% suffered from insomnia or depression, respectively, in addition to moderate to severe pain.
The combined effects of pain + insomnia, and pain + depression were additive and increased diverse types of health care use, and these effects increased greatly with increasing insomnia and depression severity after controlling for pain.
The findings indicate the important role that concurrent symptomatic conditions may play in increasing use of health care services.
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