Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between reported cold sensitivity, pain, and impact on quality of life (QoL) after upper extremity nerve injury. Methods: This cross-sectional study included adults more than 6 months after an upper extremity nerve injury. Assessment included the Pain Evaluation Questionnaire (pain descriptors, questionnaire, pain intensity, impact on QoL), and Cold Intolerance Severity Scale (CISS). Statistical analyses evaluated the relationships between the Pain Evaluation Questionnaire, CISS, and independent variables. Results: There were 70 patients (mean age 42 ± 16 years). There were high levels of pain, cold sensitivity, and impact on QoL reported. Patients selecting the adjective “coldness” had significantly higher CISS scores (P =.005), pain intensity (P=.008), and impact on QoL (P <.006). Impact on QoL and CISS (r =.35) were moderately correlated. There were significant correlations (P <.01) between the level of cold-induced pain and CISS (r =.78), overall pain intensity (r =.58), pain descriptor score (r =.49), and impact on QoL (r =.32). Conclusions: Cold-induced pain is associated with higher cold sensitivity scores and greater impact on QoL. Reporting a single descriptor “coldness” and ranking cold-induced symptoms were strongly associated with higher cold sensitivity scores and impact on health-related QoL. This may have important implications for quick screening to identify patients with cold sensitivity, and future studies in larger patient samples are necessary to provide additional evidence.
- cold sensitivity
- quality of life