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Calibrated prevalence of disabling chronic pain according to different approaches: a face-to-face cross-sectional population-based study in Southern Spain
  1. Andrés Cabrera-León1,2,3,
  2. María Rueda3,
  3. Miguel Cantero-Braojos4
  1. 1Andalusian School of Public Health, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs.GRANADA, Hospitales Universitarios de Granada/Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
  2. 2Biomedical Research Networking Centre on Public Health and Epidemiology (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Department of Statistics and O.R, Math Institute (IEMath-GR), University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  4. 4Psychologist and Clinical Physiotherapist, Psychology and Health Mensana, Granada, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Miguel Cantero-Braojos; miguecant{at}


Objectives To calculate the prevalence of disabling chronic pain (DCP) and to offer a more representative and accurate estimation by applying different calibration techniques.

Settings 2011 Andalusian Health Survey, a cross-sectional population survey based on face-to-face home interviews.

Participants 6507 people aged 16 years or older and living in Andalusia, Spain.

Outcomes Design weights, linear calibration based on marginals and on crossings, and model-assisted calibration were used to estimate the prevalence and variance of DCP, for the whole sample and for the domains of sex and age groups (16–44; 45–64; +65).

Results Calibration variables were sex, age groups and educational level. In the whole sample, DCP prevalence calibration reduced by more than 5.2% and 8.2% the estimated prevalences and variances, respectively, obtained with the design weights. Regarding the domains, prevalence reductions are from 33% to 1%, and variance reductions are from 0.2% to 1%. Model-assisted calibration is the best technique to estimate DCP prevalence for the whole population and crossing calibration for their domains, although with almost no differences compared to marginal calibration.

Conclusions The validity and accuracy of estimations of DCP prevalence are improved by calibration adjustments. Model-assisted calibrated prevalence of DCP is 10.78% for the whole population, being at least 2-fold higher in women in all age groups. The results and methodology developed could be useful in clinical and population-based studies on chronic pain and disability.

  • Chronic pain
  • disability
  • cross-sectional studies
  • indirect estimation techniques

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  • Contributors AC-L conceived the original idea with the participation of MR and MC-B. AC-L designed the analysis plan alongside MR. Statistical analysis was conducted by AC-L. AC-L developed the first version of the manuscript. All authors participated in the writing of subsequent versions and approved the final article.

  • Funding The Andalusian Health Survey, the source of information in this study, is funded by the Ministry of Health of the Andalusian Government, Seville, Spain. This study was partially supported by Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (grant number MTM2015-63609-R, Spain) and by Allergan Inc.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The General Secretariat of Quality and Public Health in the Health Ministry of the Andalusian Regional Government.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Other tables, analyses, statistics and R code not included in the present article are available on demand.