Variability of pain intensity, physical and psychological function in non-acute, non-traumatic neck pain

D. Clair, S. Edmonson, Garry Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background and PurposeVariability in clinical presentation among patients with neck pain disorders, in relation to symptom severity and the effect of the disorder on their physical and psychological function, has not been well documented. The present study examined the variability in pain intensity, physical and emotional or cognitive function in patients with non-acute, non-traumatic neck pain, and the extent to which these factors are associated at the time of referral for physiotherapy treatment.MethodThe study utilized a survey of patients referred for physiotherapy treatment for non-acute, non-traumatic neck pain. Seventy-two patients (mean age 58 years; SD 15.5 years) with a symptom duration ranging from four weeks to 30 years were recruited. Each completed measures of pain intensity using a visual analogue scale, and neck-pain related disability by use of the ‘Neck Pain and Disability’ scale (NPAD). Frequency distributions were calculated to examine variability in pain intensity, the total NPAD score and the effect of the disorder on different aspects of physical and emotional or cognitive function. Relationships between pain intensity, and physical and psychological function, were also examined.ResultsPain intensity was normally distributed with a mean score of 6.3 cm (SD 2.5 cm). NPAD scores were normally distributed (mean 54.8%; SD 18%). Similar variability was noted in each of the NPAD factor scores for neck function, pain intensity, emotional or cognitive function and activities of daily living. Pain intensity was significantly (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Cite this