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Objective: Sleep disturbance in chronic pain is common, occurring in two-thirds of patients. There is a complex relationship between chronic pain and sleep; pain can disrupt sleep and poor sleep can exaggerate pain intensity. This may have an impact on both depressive symptoms and attention to pain. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between chronic pain and sleep, and the role of mood and attention.
Methods: Chronic pain patients, recruited from a secondary care outpatient clinic, completed self-report measures of pain, sleep, depressive symptoms and attention to pain. Hierarchical regression and structural equation modelling were used to explore the relationships between these measures. Participants (n = 221) were aged between 20 and 84 (mean = 52) years.
Results: The majority of participants were found to be 'poor sleepers' (86%) with increased pain severity, depressive symptoms and attention to pain. Both analytical approaches indicated that sleep disturbance is indirectly associated with increased pain severity Instead the relationship shared by sleep disturbance and pain severity was further associated with depressive symptoms and attention to pain.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that sleep disturbance may contribute to clinical pain severity indirectly though changes in mood and attention. Prospective studies exploring lagged associations between these constructs could have critical information relevant to the treatment of chronic pain.
- Brain and Behaviour
- Tobacco and Alcohol
- chronic pain
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Jade Thai (Manager), Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci (Other) & Iain Gilchrist (Other)Bristol Medical School (THS)