Pain patients and who they live with a correlational study of coresidence patterns and pain interference

Jacob M. Vigil*, Patricia Pendleton, Patrick Coulombe, Kevin E. Vowles, Joe Alcock, Bruce W. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Mixed associations have been observed between various aspects of 'social support' and patient pain experiences. OBJECTIVE: To explore the possibility that more basic social factors, namely coresidence patterns, may be associated with variability in patient pain experiences. METHODS: Relationships between coresidence partners and self-reported pain that interferes with activities were examined in a large representative sample of home health care patients (n=11,436; age range 18 to 107 years, mean [± SD] age 66.3±16.1 years; 55% females). RESULTS: After controlling for sex, age and behavioural risks, compared with living alone, coresidence with an intimate affiliate (eg, spouse, relative) predicted greater pain interference (Cohen's d = 0.10 to 1.72), and coresidence with a less intimate type of affiliate (eg, friend, paid help) predicted lower pain interference (Cohen's d = -0.21 to -0.83). In general, however, coresidence patterns accounted for small proportions of variance in pain interference, and the magnitudes of these effects varied widely according to patients' sex, age and diagnosis. DISCUSSION: The findings suggest that fundamental components of patient's home-living environment may be associated with potential costs and benefits related to clinically relevant pain functioning for some subgroups of patients. CONCLUSION: Further research that incorporates quantitative and qualitative assessments of patient pain functioning is warranted to better understand how objective and subjective characteristics of patients' home-living environment may inform the development of more individualized pain treatment options for patients with differing social circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPain Research and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Home care
  • Pain signalling
  • Sex
  • Social determinants of

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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