News about the  European Project on OSteoArthritis  (EPOSA)

New EPOSA-paper available online

Pain is a key symptom of osteoarthritis and has been linked to poor mental health. Pain fluctuates over time within individuals, but only a few studies have considered day-to-day fluctuations of joint pain in relation to affective symptoms in older persons with OA. Elisa de Koning and colleagues used data from the European Project on OSteoArthritis (EPOSA) to investigate the relationship of pain severity as well as within-person pain variability with anxiety and depressive symptoms in older adults with osteoarthritis.

This EPOSA study by De Koning and colleagues has recently been published in The Journal of Pain (June, 2018). The results showed that that more pain was associated with more anxiety and depressive symptoms in older-old participants (74-85-years). Notably, older-old participants experienced fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression if their pain fluctuated more. No such association was evident in younger-old participants (65-74 years).

These findings imply that stable pain levels are more detrimental to mental health than fluctuating pain levels in older adults with osteoarthritis. In addition, the findings of this study emphasize the importance of measuring pain in osteoarthritis at multiple time points, because joint pain fluctuations may be an indicator for the presence of affective symptoms.

De Koning EJ, Timmermans EJ, Van Schoor NM, Stubbs B, Van den Kommer TN, Dennison EM, Limongi F, Castell MV, Edwards MH, Queipo R, Cooper C, Siviero P, Van der Pas S, Pedersen NL, Sánchez-Martínez M, Deeg DJH, Denkinger MD. Within-person pain variability and mental health in older adults with osteoarthritis: a six-cohort study. The Journal of Pain 2018;19(6), 690-698.

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