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OBJECTIVE: We examine the descriptive epidemiology of chronic widespread pain using the 'Manchester' definition [CWP(M)] and assess psychosocial and other features which characterize subjects with such pain according to these more stringent criteria. METHODS: A population postal survey of 3004 subjects was conducted in the Greater Manchester area of the UK. RESULTS: The point prevalence of Manchester-defined chronic widespread pain was 4.7%. CWP(M) was associated with psychological disturbance [risk ratio (RR) = 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.4-3.5)], fatigue [RR = 3.8, 95% CI (2.3-6.1)], low levels of self-care [RR = 2.2, 95% CI (1.4-3.6)] and with the reporting of other somatic symptoms [RR = 2.0, 95% CI (1.3-3.1)]. Hypochondriacal beliefs and a preoccupation with bodily symptoms were also associated with the presence of CWP(M). CONCLUSION: This definition of chronic widespread pain is more precise in identifying subjects with truly widespread pain and its associated adverse psychosocial factors. Clear associations with other 'non-pain' somatic symptoms were identified, which further supports the hypothesis that chronic widespread pain is one feature of somatization.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/rheumatology/38.3.275

Type

Journal article

Journal

Rheumatology (Oxford, England)

Publication Date

03/1999

Volume

38

Pages

275 - 279

Addresses

Arthritis Research Campaign, Epidemiology Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

Keywords

Humans, Pain, Chronic Disease, Fatigue, Prevalence, Somatoform Disorders, Sex Factors, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, England, Female, Male