Psychosocial aspects of pain-related life task interference: an exploratory analysis in a general population sample

Paul Karoly, Linda S Ruehlman
Pain Medicine 2007, 8 (7): 563-72

OBJECTIVE: To assess perceptions of the interfering effects of chronic pain upon the frequency of eight activities of daily living, and to examine the psychosocial correlates of these perceptions. The areas assessed included social life, recreation, sleep, household chores, working at a paid job, self-care, exercise, and routine physical activities.

DESIGN: A telephone survey of U.S. English-speaking adults was conducted using a random digit dialing recruitment procedure. The data are cross-sectional.

PARTICIPANTS: A national sample of adult men and women aged 25-80 years was recruited. A total of 9,759 persons were screened for the presence of chronic pain. Of the 3,050 found eligible, a total of 2,407 adults with chronic pain completed measures of pain interference and its psychosocial correlates.

MEASURES: Participants provided responses to the Profile of Chronic Pain: Screen (PCP: S) and to the Profile of Chronic Pain: Extended Assessment (PCP: EA) battery. The PCP: S measures key aspects of chronic pain, and the PCP: EA assesses pain attitudes and beliefs, coping, and positive and negative social responses to pain.

RESULTS: Regression analyses revealed that pain severity, along with factors assessed by the PCP: EA (including catastrophizing, fear of pain, guarding, and control beliefs), accounts for 16-40% of the variance in perceptions of functional task interference.

CONCLUSIONS: Although pain severity is consistently related to life task interference, several psychosocial variables make incremental contributions to the perception of pain's deleterious influence on daily task functioning.

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