Does smoking status affect multidisciplinary pain facility treatment outcome?

David A. Fishbain, John E. Lewis, Robert Cutler, Brandly Cole, R. Steele Rosomoff, Hubert L. Rosomoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives. Smoking may be a major problem in chronic low back pain (LBP) patients. The goal of this study was to determine whether smoking status affected multidisciplinary pain facility treatment outcome. Design. As part of a grant study, chronic LBP patients identified themselves as either current smokers (N=81) or current nonsmokers (N=140), and were compared by chi-square for employment status at 1, 6, 12, and 24months after multidisciplinary pain facility treatment. Smokers who were unemployed at each time interval were then compared with employed smokers for a large number of assessment scales and clinical variables of interest by chi-square or Student's t -test. The significant independent variables from these analyses were then utilized in a logistic regression to determine predictors for smoker nonemployment. Setting. Pain facility. Results. Current smokers were less likely to be employed at each follow-up time point. Pain levels over the previous 24hours predicted employment status for current smokers at 1-, 12-, and 24-month follow-up, while worker compensation status predicted employment status at 6months. Conclusions. Current smoking status appears to be associated with poorer treatment outcome after multidisciplinary pain facility treatment. Return to work within smokers is predicted by pain and worker compensation status. Pain facilities should target current smokers with significant perceived pain for close treatment monitoring in an attempt to improve treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Nicotine
  • Pain
  • Pain Facility Treatment Outcome
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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