A preliminary study of multidimensional pain inventory profile differences in predicting treatment outcome in a heterogeneous cohort of patients with chronic pain

Robert Joseph Gatchel, Carl E. Noe, Carla Pulliam, Heather Robbins, Martin Deschner, Noor M. Gajraj, Akshay S. Vakharia

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Objective: The objective was to evaluate whether the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) is effective for predicting response to interdisciplinary treatment in a heterogeneous group of patients with chronic pain. Changes in patients' profiles to a predominantly adaptive coping status after treatment also were assessed. Design: A prospective study was conducted of patients with an array of pain conditions. A standard evaluation battery, including measures of self-reported pain and disability, psychosocial functioning, helpfulness of the program, and medication use, was used for all patients before and after treatment. The MPI status of patients was evaluated and differential response to treatment was assessed. Methods: Sixty-five consecutive patients with chronic pain were evaluated before and immediately after participation in an interdisciplinary pain treatment program. This heterogeneous pain-condition cohort was also differentiated on the basis of the MPI to evaluate potential differential response to treatment. Results: Results revealed significant improvement among these patients with chronic pain when a comprehensive interdisciplinary pain-management program was administered. This improvement was seen across the variety of outcomes evaluated, including narcotic medication use. Most important, the MPI subgroup classification did not significantly predict the degree of positive treatment outcome; all subgroups improved. Conclusions: Although there were major differences in psychosocial functioning before treatment, the MPI was not found to significantly predict response to interdisciplinary treatment in a heterogeneous group of patients with chronic pain. Thus, a comprehensive interdisciplinary treatment program may achieve its full effectiveness across a wide array of pain/disability-related outcome variables, regardless of initial MPI profile categorization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2002



  • Chronic pain
  • Interdisciplinary treatment
  • Multidimensional Pain Inventory
  • Pain-patient heterogeneity

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