Age differences in the correlates of physical functioning in patients with chronic pain

Robert R. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Pain-related disability in the elderly is a major contributor to poor quality of life. In this study, the author examined age-related differences in the factors associated with physical disability in the context of chronic pain. Method: A large cohort of chronic pain patients was categorized into four age groups, and correlates of physical disability were evaluated within each age category. Results: Several important age differences in the predictors of physical disability were noted. Affective distress was unrelated to physical disability among the elderly, whereas this association was quite strong among younger patients. In contrast, pain severity was a weak predictor of disability within the younger group, but it accounted for more than one fourth of the variance in physical disability in those older than 65. Discussion: These data suggest that the determinants of functioning may vary across the life span, implying a potential for pain management programs tailored to a patient's age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-69
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Distress
  • Pain
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

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