• Pain experience and mood disorders during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States: an opportunistic study

      Colloca, Luana; Thomas, Sharon; Yin, Margaret; Haycock, Nathaniel R; Wang, Yang (Wolters Kluwer Health, 2021-09-23)
      Introduction: The unknown and uncontrollable situation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have triggered changes in pain, anxiety, and depression along with a perception of nonspecific COVID-19 symptoms. Objectives: We determined how anxiety, depression, and pain outcomes varied during the “Stay-at-Home” order compared with the prepandemic period and whether nonspecific COVID-19 symptoms would occur. Methods: We conducted an online survey to opportunistically reassess clinical anxiety, depression, pain intensity, and pain interference while controlling for somatic symptom severity during the prepandemic and Stay-at-Home order period. During the Stay-at-Home period, anxiety, depression, pain intensity, and pain interference were reassessed. Coping strategies were assessed as a critical factor influencing pain behaviors. In addition, we explored the occurrence of nonspecific COVID-19 symptoms with an ad hoc survey referencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publicly available COVID-19 symptoms. Results: We observed a significant increase in depression and anxiety levels during the Stay-at-Home period. Coping strategy changes (eg, increased exercise) were linked to lower pain severity and interference which improved overall. Participants who self-reported nonspecific COVID-19 symptoms had higher prepandemic depression. Among the 72 participants not diagnosed with COVID-19, 70.8% of the participants experienced symptoms resembling those associated with COVID-19. Conclusion: We suggest the parallel between pain outcome improvement and worsening anxiety and depression during the Stay-at-Home order might reflect a shift in symptoms, indicating that those patients with underlying mood disorders may require more help than they did before the pandemic.