Persistent pain and frailty: A case for homeostenosis

Joseph W. Shega*, William Dale, Melissa Andrew, Judith Paice, Kenneth Rockwood, Debra K. Weiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives To compare the association between self-reported moderate to severe pain and frailty. Design Cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging Wave 2. Setting Community. Participants Representative sample of persons aged 65 and older in Canada. Measurements Pain (exposure) was categorized as no or very mild pain versus moderate or greater pain. Frailty (outcome) was operationalized as the accumulation of 33 possible self-reported health attitudes, illnesses, and functional abilities, subsequently divided into tertiles (not frail, prefrail, and frail). Multivariable logistic regression assessed for the association between pain and frailty. Results Of participants who reported moderate or greater pain (35.5%, 1,765/4,968), 16.2% were not frail, 34.1% were prefrail, and 49.8% were frail. For persons with moderate or greater pain, the odds of being prefrail rather than not frail were higher by a factor of 2.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.13-2.99; P <.001). For persons with moderate or greater pain, the odds of being frail rather than not frail were higher by a factor of 5.52 (95% CI = 4.49-6.64 P <.001). Conclusion Moderate or higher pain was independently associated with frailty. Although causality cannot be ascertained in a cross-sectional analysis, interventions to improve pain management may help prevent or ameliorate frailty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • frailty
  • homeostenosis
  • older adults
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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