Development and external validation of multivariable risk models to predict incident and resolved neuropathic pain: a DOLORisk Dundee study

Harry L. Hebert, Abirami Veluchamy, Georgios Baskozos, Francesca Fardo, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Ewan R. Pearson, Lesley A. Colvin, Geert Crombez, David L. H. Bennett, Weihua Meng, Colin N. A. Palmer, Blair H. Smith (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat, and an understanding of the risk factors for its onset and resolution is warranted. This study aimed to develop and externally validate two clinical risk models to predict onset and resolution of chronic neuropathic pain. Participants of Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS; general Scottish population; n = 20,221) and Genetic of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS; n = 5236) were sent a questionnaire on neuropathic pain and followed- -up 18 months later. Chronic neuropathic pain was defined using DN4 scores (≥ 3/7) and pain for 3 months or more. The models were developed in GS using logistic regression with backward elimination based on the Akaike information criterion. External validation was conducted in GoDARTS and assessed model discrimination (ROC and Precision-Recall curves), calibration and clinical utility (decision curve analysis [DCA]). Analysis revealed incidences of neuropathic pain onset (6.0% in GS [236/3903] and 10.7% in GoDARTS [61/571]) and resolution (42.6% in GS [230/540] and 23.7% in GoDARTS [56/236]). Psychosocial and lifestyle factors were included in both onset and resolved prediction models. In GoDARTS, these models showed adequate discrimination (ROC = 0.636 and 0.699), but there was evidence of miscalibration (Intercept = − 0.511 and − 0.424; slope = 0.623 and 0.999). The DCA indicated that the models would provide clinical benefit over a range of possible risk thresholds. To our knowledge, these are the first externally validated risk models for neuropathic pain. The findings are of interest to patients and clinicians in the community, who may take preventative or remedial measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1094
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neurology
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Neuropathic pain
  • prediction model
  • risk factors
  • epidemiology
  • Scotland
  • DOLORisk
  • Validation
  • Prediction model
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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