Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Molton, I., Cook, K.F., Smith, A.E., Amtmann, D. Chen, W., & Jensen, M.P. (2014). Prevalence and impact of pain in adults aging with a physical disability: Comparison to a US General Population Sample. Clinical Journal of Pain, 30 307-315.
Title:  Prevalence and impact of pain in adults aging with a physical disability: Comparison to a US General Population Sample
Authors:  Molton, I., Cook, K.F., Smith, A.E., Amtmann, D. Chen, W., & Jensen, M.P.
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Clinical Journal of Pain
Publisher:  Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0b013e31829e9bca
Full text:  https://journals.lww.com/clinicalpain/Citation/2014/04000/Prevalenc...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  More and more individuals with acquired physical disabilities are living longer. This is due to advances in medical care and rehabilitation. Advancing in age often leads to problems with health, including chronic pain. Research is needed about how pain impacts a person's life and how it relates to age. This information can inform physicians on how to advise their patients, helps patients understand what they may expect, and help researchers anticipate the impact of disability over the life span.
Purpose:  The aim of the study was to contribute to the knowledge base about the prevalence and impact of pain in aging adults with a physical disability.
Study sample:  The majority, over 97%, of the participants were white and middle aged (53.5 years). On average they had lived with a disability for 15.2 years. Disabilities included: Muscular Dystrophy (N=171); Multiple Sclerosis (N=282); Postpolio (N=218) and Spinal Cord Injury (N=239).
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Data collection and analysis:  National Comparison data for the study came from data collected by the PROMIS; participants provided demographic and disability related information; pain severity was assessed using a standard 11 point scale used in the pain literature and pain interference was measured using the PROMIS Interference Short Form. For descriptive purposes the researchers computed means and SDs of the demographic and disability related variables including pain severity. Scores in the sample were compared to the overall national PROMIS mean using one sample t-Tests. PROMIS age cohort means were calculated based on the PROMIS norming sample to test the hypothesis that pain interference levels in different age ranges would be higher in clinical samples. The researchers data was compared to the PROMIS age-based means.
Findings:  All disability groups reported a higher mean pain than did the normative sample. Individuals with disabilities reported more pain related interference, than those in the general population. However, the magnitude of the differences varied. The overall effect of age on pain interference was modest. Age cohort analyses revealed a number of things such as a pattern of pain interference that is highest at midlife and declines at older age (65 to 74 and 75 plus years), except for 3 disability groups (neuromuscular disease, post-polio syndrome and multiple sclerosis). Pain interference remained significantly higher than national norms in the post retirement age group (i.e. 65 to 74 years).
Conclusions:  Individuals with a disability experience higher levels of pain interference than those without disabilities.

Disabilities served:  Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Spinal cord injury (SCI)