Baseline self-report 'central mechanisms' trait predicts persistent knee pain in the Knee Pain in the Community (KPIC) cohort

K. Akin-Akinyosoye, A. Sarmanova, G. S. Fernandes, N. Frowd, L. Swaithes, J. Stocks, A. Valdes, D. F. McWilliams, W. Zhang, M. Doherty, E. Ferguson, D. A. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether baseline scores for a self-report trait linked to central mechanisms predict 1 year pain outcomes in the Knee Pain in the Community cohort.

METHOD: 1471 participants reported knee pain at baseline and responded to a 1-year follow-up questionnaire, of whom 204 underwent pressure pain detection thresholds (PPTs) and radiographic assessment at baseline. Logistic and linear regression models estimated the relative risks (RRs) and associations (β) between self-report traits, PPTs and pain outcomes. Discriminative performance for each predictor was compared using receiver-operator characteristics (ROC) curves.

RESULTS: Baseline Central Mechanisms trait scores predicted pain persistence (Relative Risk, RR = 2.10, P = 0.001) and persistent pain severity (β = 0.47, P < 0.001), even after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, radiographic scores and symptom duration. Baseline joint-line PPTs also associated with pain persistence (RR range = 0.65 to 0.68, P < 0.02), but only in univariate models. Lower baseline medial joint-line PPT was associated with persistent pain severity (β = -0.29, P = 0.013) in a fully adjusted model. The Central Mechanisms trait model showed good discrimination of pain persistence cases from resolved pain cases (Area Under the Curve, AUC = 0.70). The discrimination power of other predictors (PPTs (AUC range = 0.51 to 0.59), radiographic OA (AUC = 0.62), age, sex and BMI (AUC range = 0.51 to 0.64), improved significantly (P < 0.05) when the central mechanisms trait was included in each logistic regression model (AUC range = 0.69 to 0.74).

CONCLUSION: A simple summary self-report Central Mechanisms trait score may indicate a contribution of central mechanisms to poor knee pain prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number2
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • knee pain
  • central pain mechanisms
  • outcome measures
  • quantitative sensory testing
  • phenotypes


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