Different Components of Subjective Well-being Are Associated With Chronic Nondisabling and Disabling Knee Pain: ELSA-Brasil Musculoskeletal Cohort : JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology

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Different Components of Subjective Well-being Are Associated With Chronic Nondisabling and Disabling Knee Pain

ELSA-Brasil Musculoskeletal Cohort

Castelo Azevedo, Daniela MD, MSc; Carneiro Machado, Luciana Andrade PhD, PT; Giatti, Luana PhD, MD∗,†; Harter Griep, Rosane PhD, NR; Telles, Rosa Weiss PhD, MD∗,†; Barreto, Sandhi Maria PhD, MD∗,†

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JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology 27(6S):p S301-S307, September 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000001472



Chronic knee pain (CKP) is a common pain complaint in older adults that is often associated with disability. This study investigated the relationship between 2 components of subjective well-being (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) and CKP phenotypes based on the presence of knee disability.


A cross-sectional study was performed at baseline of ELSA-Brasil Musculoskeletal cohort (2012–2014). Chronic knee pain phenotypes were identified according to the presence of CKP that was accompanied or not by disability, which was assessed by a question on pain-related limitations to perform everyday activities (overall), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index's physical function subscale (daily tasks) and 5-times sit-to-stand test (objective). Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Clinical Interview Schedule–Revised and life satisfaction by the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Multinomial logistic regressions used CKP phenotypes as response variables (no CKP as reference).


The sample comprised 2898 participants (mean age, 55.9 ± 8.9 years; 52.9% were female). After adjustments for sociodemographic and clinical factors, depressive symptoms were associated with daily tasks disabling CKP (odds ratio [OR], 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45–3.66) and objective disabling CKP (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.29–2.93) and with nondisabling CKP for the overall disability measure (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.17–2.04). Life satisfaction was inversely associated with all phenotypes in fully adjusted models, with strongest magnitude of associations observed for disabling CKP.


The association of depressive symptoms and life satisfaction with CKP phenotypes suggest the need to address both negative and positive components of subjective well-being in the assessment of individuals with knee complaints.

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