Objective: To compare adults aged ≥ 50 years with serious mental illness reporting moderate-to-severe pain to older adults with serious mental illness without pain with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, and functional impairment. Method: Secondary data analyses were conducted using baseline assessments of 183 participants recruited for the Helping Older People Experience Success (HOPES) study from three community mental health centers. The primary outcome was self-reported, nonexperimentally induced, moderate-to-severe pain (referent = no-to-mild pain). Predictor variables consisted of sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, and functional impairment. We conducted univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses to examine the associations between these variables. Results: Sixty-one participants (33.3%) from our sample reported pain. Pain was associated with all of the sociodemographic and health-related factors in univariable analyses. In the multivariable model, only older age, pain-related activity interference, and physical and emotional health-related social limitations were significantly associated with pain. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The presence of moderate-to-severe pain in older adults with serious mental illness is associated with pain-attributable impairment of activities and social problems above and beyond the substantial functional limitations routinely experienced by this high-risk, high-need group. Given the high rates of preexisting conditions and persistent social impairment among these older adults, our findings suggest that pain may contribute to worse overall functional outcomes. Future research and clinical interventions focused on improving outcomes should include an evaluation of pain as a contributor to decreased functioning and assess the need for early intervention, nonpharmacological pain management, or other health promotion services in psychiatric rehabilitation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health