Effect of tramadol/acetaminophen on motivation in patients with chronic low back pain

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The contribution of apathy, frequently recognized in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, to chronic low back pain (LBP) remains unclear. Objectives: To investigate levels of apathy and clinical outcomes in patients with chronic LBP treated with tramadol-acetaminophen. Methods: A retrospective case-control study involving 73 patients with chronic LBP (23 male, 50 female; mean age 71 years) treated with tramadol-acetaminophen (n = 36) and celecoxib (n = 37) was performed. All patients were assessed using the self-reported questionnaires. A mediation model was constructed using a bootstrapping method to evaluate the mediating effects of pain relief after treatment. Results: A total of 35 (55.6%) patients met the criteria for apathy. A four-week treatment regimen in the tramadol group conferred significant improvements in the Apathy scale and numerical rating scale but not in the Rolland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, Pain Disability Assessment Scale, or Pain Catastrophizing Scale. The depression component of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was lower in the tramadol group than in the celecoxib group. The mediation analysis found that the impact of tramadol-acetaminophen on the change in apathy was not mediated by the pain relief. Conclusions: Tramadol-acetaminophen was effective at reducing chronic LBP and conferred a prophylactic motivational effect in patients with chronic LBP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7458534
JournalPain Research and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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