The cross-sectional relationship between pain and awareness of age-related changes
AuthorSabatini, S; Ukoumunne, OC; Ballard, C; Collins, R; Corbett, A; Brooker, H; Clare, L
Source TitleBritish Journal of Pain
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sUkoumunne, Obioha
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSabatini, S., Ukoumunne, O. C., Ballard, C., Collins, R., Corbett, A., Brooker, H. & Clare, L. (2020). The cross-sectional relationship between pain and awareness of age-related changes. BRITISH JOURNAL OF PAIN, 15 (3), pp.335-344. https://doi.org/10.1177/2049463720961798.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8339953
Background: Awareness of positive and negative age-related changes (AARC gains and losses) captures the perceived changes that older individuals experience in several domains of their lives including physical, cognitive and social functioning; interpersonal relationships; and lifestyle. Exploring antecedents of AARC is important to identify those individuals that could benefit the most from interventions promoting positive experiences of ageing and/or adaptation to age-related changes. This study investigates the experience of pain as a predictor of lower AARC gains and higher AARC losses. Methods: Analyses are based on cross-sectional data from the PROTECT cohort (2019); 1013 UK residents (mean (SD; range) age: 65.3 (7.1; 51.4-92) years, 84.4% women) completed measures of AARC and pain and provided demographic information. Linear regression models were fitted to examine pain as a predictor of AARC gains and AARC losses. Results: Higher levels of pain predicted more AARC losses both before (regression coefficient, B = 0.36; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.29 to 0.42, p-value < 0.001; R 2 = 0.11) and after adjusting for demographic covariates (B = 0.34; 95% CI: 0.27 to 0.40; p-value < 0.001; Partial R 2 = 0.11). Pain was not significantly associated with AARC gains (unadjusted B = 0.05; 95% CI: -0.03 to 0.12, p-value = 0.21; Partial R 2 = 0.01). Conclusion: Individuals experiencing pain may perceive more AARC losses. Interventions aiming to decrease levels of pain could include a component targeting self-perceptions of ageing and/or promoting acceptance of the negative changes that can happen with ageing. Statement of significance: The predictive role of greater levels of pain for more negative perceptions of age-related changes extends the literature on the negative psychological outcomes of pain and on predictors of perceived awareness of age-related changes (AARC). As individuals experiencing pain may be more at risk of perceiving their own ageing in a more negative way, they may benefit from interventions that combine strategies to reduce levels of pain and the interference that pain exerts on their daily activities with an educational component enhancing positive self-perceptions of ageing and promoting acceptance of negative age-related changes.
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