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Functional disability among chronic pain patients receiving long-term opioid treatment

This study of 2,163 adult chronic, non-cancer-pain, long-term opioid therapy patients examines the relationship of depression to functional disability by measuring average pain interference, activity limitation days, and employment status. Those with more depression symptoms compared to those with fewer were more likely to have worse disability on all 3 measures (average pain interference score >5, OR = 5.36, p < .0001; activity limitation days >/= 30, OR = 4.05, p < .0001; unemployed due to health reasons, OR = 4.06, p < .0001). Depression might play a crucial role in the lives of these patients; identifying and treating depression symptoms in chronic pain patients should be a priority.

Authors: Valkanoff TA; Kline-Simon AH; Sterling S; Campbell C; Von Korff M

J Soc Work Disabil Rehabil. 2012;11(2):128-42.

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