New researches have
shown that pain is directly influenced by an individual's SES. The low
socioeconomic status is related with poor economic condition, lack of proper
education, improper sanitation and lack of occupation.
Low socio-economic status is also directly linked to
greater morbidity and mortality in a variety of diseases.
inequalities are also seen to affect occurrence of chronic pain among women.
However, little is known regarding the impact of Socio-Eeconomic Status (SES)
among women with chronic pain.
Norwegian researchers, Toril Rannestad and Finn Egil Skjeldestad conducted a
study 'to explore the relationship between socioeconomic
conditions and the number of pain sites (NPS) in women'.
They examined the
prevalence of pain, its general sites, and its characteristics in a randomized
sample of female population. The study was conducted on 653 women, 493 were
randomly selected while 160 were gynecological cancer survivors. The women were
aged between 18 years to 64 years.
between pain and other socio-economic factors were scrutinized. Questionnaire
with questions pertaining to pain sites, nature of pain, etc. were given to the
The demographic data
was collected for 12 months that included socioeconomic index consisting of
ability to pay off bills, occupation, education, status of employment and
relationship with friends.
NPS was measured using
a body outline diagram. The volunteers experienced pain during the past week.
The results were derived from the Chi-square test and forward stepwise logistic
The results showed
• Women in poor
socioeconomic status are more likely to run the threat of being affected by
pain problems as compared to those living in better economic conditions. The economic status therefore plays
important role in mitigating pain pathos of women.
• The two important
risk factors related to occurrence of pain are financial strain and
• The highest number
of pain sites was among women below 60 years of age.
• There was only a
weak association between NPS and overweight.
• Smoking and being
gynecological survivor was not associated with NPS at all.
• Educational status
is associated with decreased pain coping ability. The depressive symptoms are
like a mediator of the inter-relationship between SES and pain in women.
concluded that steps should be taken to improve the socio-economic status of
women living under deprived conditions. By improvising their working
environment, their pain problems can be significantly reduced.
Reference: Socioeconomic conditions and number of pain sites in
women; Finn Skjeldestad et al; BMC Women's Health 2012