Please note, due to essential maintenance online transactions will not be possible between 09:00 and 13:00 BST, on Monday 20th January 2020 (04:00-08:00 EDT). We apologise for any inconvenience.
Introduction: The objective of the study was to evaluate the acute pain intensity evolution in ED discharged patients using Group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM). This method identified patient groups with similar profiles of change over time without assuming the existence of a particular pattern or number of groups. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of ED patients aged ≥18 years with an acute pain condition (≤ 2 weeks) and discharged with an opioid prescription. Patients completed a 14-day diary assessing daily pain intensity level (0-10 numeric rating scale) and pain medication use. Results: Among the 372 included patients, six distinct post-ED pain intensity trajectories were identified: two started with severe levels of pain, one remained with severe pain intensity (12.6% of the sample) and the other ended with moderate pain intensity level (26.3%). Two other trajectories had severe initial pain, one decreased to mild pain (21.7%) and the other to no-pain (13.8%). Another trajectory had moderate initial pain which decreased to a mild level (15.9%) and the last one started with mild pain intensity and had no pain at the end of the 14-day (9.7%). The pain trajectory patterns were significantly associated with age, type of painful conditions, pain intensity at ED discharge, and with opioid consumption. Conclusion: Acute pain resolution following an ED visit seems to progress through six different trajectory patterns that are more informative than simple linear models and could be useful to adapt acute pain management in future research.