Depression And Chronic Pain Cause Disability In Women

by Medindia Content Team on  June 16, 2006 at 4:24 PM Women Health News
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Depression And Chronic Pain Cause Disability In Women
Long-term pain and sickness related depression makes women more disabled than men - study published in the European Journal of Pain finds. Thus treatment procedures targeting to reduce stress and pain in arthritis and back pain patients will reduce disability.

This suggests that by targeting their depression, doctors could help reduce disability in female patients with chronic conditions such as arthritis and back pain.

The study, which involved 260 chronic pain patients from Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), builds on growing evidence that 'psychosocial' factors can have an effect on a person's health and behaviour.

'It is now accepted that pain is more than just a sensory experience, and that factors like a person's gender, their emotional condition or their interactions with others, can contribute to their pain experiences,' said Dr Ed Keogh from the Pain Management Unit at the University of Bath and RNHRD.

'This research shows that pain-related emotions are associated with pain-related behaviour, such as the number of visits to the GP, the number of medications taken, the amount of sleep lost, and disability, but it also highlights a significant discrepancy between the behaviours of men and women.

'For women in particular, targeting depression may help reduce disability associated with chronic pain.'

Women are already known to report higher levels of depression than men, and are generally found to report greater levels of pain, with greater frequency and greater intensity when compared to men.

Evidence is emerging that suggests men and women also respond differently to the drugs and other treatments, such as psychology-based interventions, used to treat pain.

'We found that within men with chronic pain, higher levels of depression were related to a greater of number of medications being used than women,' said Dr Keogh.

'Why this should be is not clear, but the social gender roles we adopt throughout our lives may have some important part to play.

'Alongside drugs, other therapies that focus on the behaviours and tendencies associated with depression, such as avoidance and withdrawal, may also be effective in these situations for some people.'

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i fell 16 wks pregnant and almost miscarried the pain i encounter everyday is unbearable but obviously i must tolerate it this was a work injury and no doubt i was not taken care of the pain the financial stress all are major factors of my depression not to mention i am a mother of 5


I have suffered with severe chronic pain over 30 years. Doctor I went to said I had interstitial cystitis (I was given treatment that actually caused it to worsen and almost died). Later I was told I had ulcerative colitis. I appear to get inflammation, burning, infection chronically. Doctor refused to give me disability despite the severe chronic pain. I'm unable to get a job where I sit down because it hurts so much. It only depresses me more since I worked very hard to get my education. I thought severe chronic pain was a disability and don't understand my doctor's actions. This along with the terrible pain can be depressing.


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