BACKGROUND: The experience of chronic pain negatively impacts the general health of individuals. Evidence shows that depression and chronic pain co-occur, and both experiences tend to worsen as the number of comorbidities increases.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between pain and depression as well as the impact of number of comorbidities in older adults with arthritis.
METHOD: A cross-sectional analysis of existing data was conducted with a sample of 1,592 community-dwelling older adults (mean age = 74.3 years, SD = 5.9 years).
FINDINGS: The majority of participants reported the presence of bodily pain. Mild depressive symptoms and multimorbidities were found. More severe pain correlated with a higher number of comorbidities and worsening depression.
IMPLICATIONS: Prevalence and impact of pain and other co-occurring conditions suggest their importance in planning care for the elderly with arthritis.
Uloma D. Onubogu, PhD, MSN, MSEd, APRN-BC, Associate Professor, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL.
The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.