Perceived discrimination, health, and well-being among adults with and without pain: a prospective study

Whitney Scott, Sarah E Jackson, Ruth A Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Discrimination negatively influences health and well-being in the general population, but its impact on people with pain is unclear. This study assessed discrimination, health, and well-being in people with and without pain. Data were from 5871 participants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Experiences of discrimination were reported in 2010 to 2011. Pain, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, quality of life, life satisfaction, and loneliness were assessed in 2010 to 2011 and 2016 to 2017. A quarter (26%, n = 1524) of the sample reported pain at baseline. Participants with pain were more likely to report discrimination than those without pain (odds ratio [OR] = 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-1.46). Cross-sectionally, those with pain who perceived discrimination had poorer self-rated health (OR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.02-1.61), greater depressive symptoms (OR = 1.90, 95% CI 1.48-2.45), were more likely to be lonely (β = 0.21, 95% CI 0.15-0.26), and had lower quality of life (β = 24.01, 95% CI 24.88 to 23.14), and life satisfaction (β = 21.75, 95% CI 22.45 to 21.06) than those with pain who did not perceive discrimination. Prospectively, discrimination in those with pain was associated with greater depression (OR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.19-2.34) and loneliness (β = 0.11, 95% CI 0.05-0.17), adjusting for baseline values. In those without pain in 2010 to 2011, discrimination predicted pain in 2016 to 2017, controlling for covariates (OR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.06-1.56). People with pain are more likely to report discrimination than those without pain, and this experience is associated with increased depression and loneliness. Discrimination was predictive of incident pain in pain-free adults. These findings highlight the need to tackle discrimination to improve well-being in those with pain and to potentially reduce the risk of pain onset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalPain
Volume163
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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