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Pain as a mediator of sleep problems in arthritis and other chronic conditions

TitlePain as a mediator of sleep problems in arthritis and other chronic conditions
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBadley, E. M., Perruccio A. V., and J. Power D.
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Pages911 - 919
Keywordsarthritis, chronic disease, diseases, disorders and chronic conditions, measures of health, mental health and well-being, pain, sleep

Objective To examine the associations between arthritis and insomnia symptoms and unrefreshing sleep, as well as the role of pain as a mediator of these relationships. Methods Analyses were conducted on the cross-sectional, nationally representative, weighted sample of adults 18 years of age (n = 118,336) in the 2000/2001 Canadian Community Health Survey. Four logistic regression models were estimated for each sleep problem (model 1: arthritis only; model 2: model 1 + sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and other chronic conditions; model 3: model 2 + mental health [stress, depression]; and model 4: model 3 + pain). Mediation by pain was quantified by the percentage change in the effect of arthritis on a particular sleep problem by comparing models 3 and 4. Results The prevalence of insomnia symptoms and unrefreshing sleep in persons with arthritis was 24.8% and 11.9%, respectively. These estimates are twice as high as those for persons without arthritis. In multivariate regression analyses, the addition of pain decreased the effect of arthritis by 53% (insomnia symptoms) and 64% (unrefreshing sleep). The effect of arthritis was still statistically significant in these models, suggesting that pain is a partial mediator of these relationships. Conclusion Insomnia symptoms and unrefreshing sleep affect a considerable proportion of individuals with arthritis. Pain mediates a substantial amount of the relationship between arthritis and sleep problems. Better pain management could significantly improve sleep in individuals with arthritis.

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