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Exploring the Relationships Among Social Support, Patient Activation, and Pain-Related Outcomes.
Matthias MS, Hirsh AT, Ofner S, Daggy J. Exploring the Relationships Among Social Support, Patient Activation, and Pain-Related Outcomes. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 2022 Apr 8; 23(4):676-685.
Social support has been linked to more effective pain adaptation. The relationship between social support and other relevant constructs is less well understood. Chief among these is patient activation, which has robust links to effective self-management, yet has not been well studied in chronic pain. We sought to better understand these relationships in an effort to inform future intervention strategies for patients with chronic pain.
Using baseline data from a clinical trial with patients with chronic pain (N? = 213), we analyzed the relationships among perceived social support and patient activation, depression, anxiety, general health perceptions, pain centrality, pain catastrophizing, and pain intensity and interference. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the effect of social support on outcomes. Patient activation was explored as a mediator of the effect of social support on outcomes.
Social support was significantly associated with all outcomes except pain. Social support explained the greatest variance in patient activation (squared semi-partial correlation? = 0.081), followed by depression (0.073) and general health perceptions (0.072). Patient activation was not found to be a significant mediator of the effect of social support on pain-related outcomes.
These findings provide insight into the roles of patient activation and social support in chronic pain management. Although patient activation did not mediate the relationship between social support and outcomes, this study is an important step toward gaining a more complete understanding of constructs thought to be related to pain self-management and points to the need to advance theory in this area to guide future research. Such work is needed to optimize interventions for patients with chronic pain.