Predictors of pain, urinary symptoms and quality of life in patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS): A prospective 12-month follow-up study

Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) can affect both men and women and often causes substantial impairment to quality of life. Although cross-sectional studies have suggested that psychosocial aspects may constitute important factors in the etiology and maintenance of CPPS, longitudinal studies are rare. Therefore, the present study examines psychosocial factors as prospective predictors of pain intensity, urinary symptoms and impediments to quality of life in men and women with CPPS.

Data were collected from patients during visits to a specialized, interdisciplinary outpatient clinic and after 12 months. Outcomes included pain intensity, urinary symptoms and impediments to quality of life, all of which were measured with the NIH-CPSI. Age, sex, depressive-anxious symptomatology (PHQ-ADS), pain catastrophizing (PCS), health anxiety (WI-7) and social support (FSozU) were examined as predictors in multivariate linear regressions.

Data from 109 patients (59.6% female; age M = 49.3, SD = 16.7) were analyzed. Pain severity (β = .30, p = .004), age (β = .22, p = .02), urinary symptoms (β = .24, p = .01) and depressive-anxious symptomatology (β = .29, p = .009) at baseline emerged as predictors of pain at follow-up. Urinary symptoms were predicted by urinary symptoms (β = .53, p < .001) and depressive-anxious symptomatology (β = .25, p = .01) at baseline; impediments to quality of life were predicted by depressive-anxious symptomatology (β = .27, p = .01).

Psychological factors, especially depressive-anxious symptomatology, predict CPPS-specific symptom severity and impediments to quality of life after 12 months and thus substantially contribute to the chronification of CPPS. It is recommended to address anxiety and depression in patients with CPPS as early as possible in biopsychosocially oriented treatment approaches.

Journal of psychosomatic research. 2018 Jul 25 [Epub]

Christoph Dybowski, Bernd Löwe, Christian Brünahl

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schön Klinik Hamburg Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address: ., Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schön Klinik Hamburg Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany.

Pelvic Health Weekly Newsletter