Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Health outcomes among detoxification patients: The role of chronic pain.

Woodhead EL, Brief D, Below M, Timko C. Health outcomes among detoxification patients: The role of chronic pain. Applied psychology. Health and well-being. 2021 Nov 1; 13(4):922-934.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Understanding associations between chronic pain and health outcomes among detoxification patients may help improve treatment outcomes and abstinence rates. Exercise is a modifiable lifestyle factor that may reduce the effect of pain on outcomes in this population. The current study examined whether baseline pain, exercise, and their interaction were associated with psychiatric and medical severity, and abstinence self-efficacy, over six months following detoxification. Participants were veteran patients in alcohol or opioid detoxification treatment (N  =  298) who were followed for six months (91.1%). Psychiatric severity and abstinence self-efficacy improved over the six months after detoxification; medical severity was stable. More intense pain at baseline was associated with poorer psychiatric and medical outcomes during the post-detoxification period. Regular exercise at baseline was associated with less psychiatric severity and more abstinence self-efficacy during the post-detoxification period. A significant pain by exercise interaction at baseline indicated that regular exercise was associated with more abstinence self-efficacy during the post-detoxification period only among participants with less intense pain. Pain by exercise interactions was not significant for the outcomes of psychiatric and medical severity. Among detoxification patients, exercise may be beneficial in improving outcomes among those with less intense pain.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.