Musculoskeletal Health Literacy, Pain Catastrophization, and Sleep Quality: Effect on Functional Disability Scores


Limited musculoskeletal health literacy, catastrophic pain thinking, and poor sleep quality may be associated with adverse long-term health outcomes, but are sparsely studied concomitantly in orthopedics. The purpose of this study was to assess how these factors influence baseline functional disability. Hand and wrist and foot and ankle patients presenting with a previously untreated complaint were enrolled and completed the Literacy in Musculoskeletal Problems questionnaire, Pain Catastrophization Scale (PCS), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Upper extremity patients completed the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire and lower extremity patients completed the Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) survey. DASH and FAOS scores were normalized to the same scale and termed ‘‘functional survey’’ (FS). Two hundred thirty-one patients (mean age 45.8 ± 16.8) were included in the analysis. PCS and PSQI were significantly correlated with FS score. The only other variables significantly correlated with FS score were insurance and diagnosis type. The variables PCS, PSQI, insurance, and diagnosis were entered into a multivariate analysis with FS score. All four variables significantly added to FS score in the model (R2 = .194, p < .001). Interventions that target both catastrophizing tendencies and sleep quality may independently improve functional outcomes. Further in-depth multifactorial research in this topic is critical to craft effective treatments with sustainable outcomes. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 28(2):144–149, 2019) Key words: functional outcomes, health literacy, orthopedics, pain catastrophization, sleep quality

Peter C. Noback, BA; Mani Seetharaman, MD; Direk Tantigate, MD; Robert J. Strauch, MD; Melvin P. Rosenwasser, MD; and J. Turner Vosseller, MD