Individuals with chronic pain show a greater vulnerability to depression or anger than those without chronic pain, and also show greater interpersonal difficulties and physical disability. The current study examined data from 675 individuals with chronic pain during their initial visits to a tertiary care pain clinic using assessments from Stanford University's Collaborative Health Outcomes Information Registry (CHOIR). Using a path modeling analysis, the mediating roles of PROMIS Physical Function and PROMIS Satisfaction with Social Roles and Activities were tested between pain intensity and PROMIS Depression and Anger. Pain intensity significantly predicted both depression and anger, and both physical function and satisfaction with social roles mediated these relationships when modeled in separate 1-mediator models. Notably, however, when modeled together, ratings of satisfaction with social roles mediated the relationship between physical function and both anger and depression. Our results suggest that the process by which chronic pain disrupts emotional well-being involves both physical function and disrupted social functioning. However, the more salient factor in determining pain-related emotional distress appears to be disruption of social relationships, rather than global physical impairment. These results highlight the particular importance of social factors to pain-related distress, and highlight social functioning as an important target for clinical intervention in chronic pain.
View details for DOI 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000313
View details for Web of Science ID 000365598300028
View details for PubMedID 26230739