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Pain Research and Management
Volume 19 (2014), Issue 4, Pages e109-e114
Original Article

Pain Patients and Who they Live with: A Correlational Study of Coresidence Patterns and Pain Interference

Jacob M Vigil,1 Patricia Pendleton,2 Patrick Coulombe,1 Kevin E Vowles,1 Joe Alcock,1 and Bruce W Smith1

1University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
2Baptist Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Mixed associations have been observed between various aspects of ‘social support’ and patient pain experiences

OBJECTIVE: To explore the possibility that more basic social factors, namely coresidence patterns, may be associated with variability in patient pain experiences.

METHODS: Relationships between coresidence partners and self-reported pain that interferes with activities were examined in a large representative sample of home health care patients (n=11,436; age range 18 to 107 years, mean [± SD] age 66.3±16.1 years; 55% females).

RESULTS: After controlling for sex, age and behavioural risks, compared with living alone, coresidence with an intimate affiliate (eg, spouse, relative) predicted greater pain interference (Cohen’s d = 0.10 to 1.72), and coresidence with a less intimate type of affiliate (eg, friend, paid help) predicted lower pain interference (Cohen’s d = −0.21 tö0.83). In general, however, coresidence patterns accounted for small proportions of variance in pain interference, and the magnitudes of these effects varied widely according to patients’ sex, age and diagnosis.

DISCUSSION: The findings suggest that fundamental components of patient’s home-living environment may be associated with potential costs and benefits related to clinically relevant pain functioning for some subgroups of patients.

CONCLUSION: Further research that incorporates quantitative and qualitative assessments of patient pain functioning is warranted to better understand how objective and subjective characteristics of patients’ home-living environment may inform the development of more individualized pain treatment options for patients with differing social circumstances.