The role of chronic pain and current substance use in predicting negative social support among disadvantaged persons living with HIV/AIDS

Mary M. Mitchell, Allysha C. Maragh-Bass, Trang Q. Nguyen, Sarina Isenberg, Amy R. Knowlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chronic pain and substance use can strain the supportive relationships of persons with serious chronic illness, which may increase the likelihood of receiving negative, rather than positive, social support from informal caregivers and social network members. To our knowledge, this is the first study to longitudinally examine the effects of chronic pain and substance use on negative social support. The sample (N = 383) comprised disadvantaged, primarily African-American, persons living with HIV/AIDS with a history of injection drug use, 32.4% of whom reported frequent or constant pain in the prior 6 months. Using factor analysis and structural equation modeling, current substance use and greater levels of chronic pain positively predicted negative social support 12 months later, after controlling for baseline negative support, viral load, age and sex. We also found a significant interaction effect such that among those not using substances, there was a significant positive association between pain and negative support, but no such association among those currently using substances. The findings emphasize the importance of treatment of chronic pain and substance use in the supportive functioning of social networks of a disadvantaged population with serious chronic conditions and persistent health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1286
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • HIV/AIDS
  • black/African-American
  • negative social support
  • substance/drug use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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