Multicenter, cross-sectional observational study of the impact of neuropathic pain on quality of life in cancer patients

So Yeon Oh, Sang Won Shin, Su Jin Koh, Sang Byung Bae, Hyun Chang, Jung Han Kim, Hyo Jung Kim, Young Seon Hong, Keon Uk Park, Jeanno Park, Kyung Hee Lee, Na Ri Lee, Jung Lim Lee, Joung Soon Jang, Dae Sik Hong, Seung Sei Lee, Sun Kyung Baek, Dae Ro Choi, Jooseop Chung, Sang Cheul OhHye Sook Han, Hwan Jung Yun, Sun Jin Sym, So Young Yoon, In Sil Choi, Byoung Yong Shim, Seok Yun Kang, Sung Rok Kim, Hyun Joo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Neuropathic cancer pain (NCP) is a common and potentially debilitating symptom in cancer patients. We investigated the prevalence of NCP, as well as its management and association with QOL. Methods: Cancer patients with pain ≥1 on the visual analogue scale (VAS) were surveyed with the Douleur Neuropathique (DN4) questionnaire, the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF), and the EuroQOL five dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. The associations between NCP and pain severity or NCP and QOL, while controlling for variables relevant to QOL, were then analyzed. Results: A total of 2003 patients were enrolled in this survey; the prevalence of NCP was 36.0% (n = 722, 95% CI, 32.5–39.5). We found that NCP in cancer patients was closely correlated to a higher pain severity (BPI-SF; 4.96 ± 1.94 versus 4.24 ± 2.02, p < 0.001), and in patients with NCP, pain more severely interfered with daily living, as compared to those without NCP (BPI-SF; 4.86 ± 2.71 versus 4.41 ± 2.87, p < 0.001). Patients with NCP also had worse QOL than those without NCP, as measured by EQ-5D index score (0.47 ± 0.30 vs. 0.51 ± 0.30, p = 0.005), and this was confirmed using multivariate analysis (p < 0.001), even after controlling for other variables such as age, sex, disease stage, cancer duration, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and comorbidities. Importantly, adjuvant analgesics were used in less than half of patients with NCP (n = 358, 46.4%). Conclusions: We found that NCP in cancer patients was significantly associated with a worsened QOL, and current management is inadequate. Therefore, future research aimed at developing improved strategies for management of NCP is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3759-3767
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was sponsored by Pfizer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


  • Neoplasm
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pain management
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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