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Gender Differences Seen in Mood-Pain Relationship

Study finds that negative mood has stronger effect on women's pain and pain-related disability

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Negative mood and pain affect the level of disability in both men and women, but the association may be stronger in women, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Adam Hirsh, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues studied 197 subjects (63 males, 134 females) who were recruited from the University of Florida pain clinics. The subjects completed the Pain Disability Index, McGill Pain Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Pain-Anxiety Symptoms Scale, and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory.

In both sexes, the researchers found that overall disability and disability in voluntary activities were associated with pain and negative mood. But there were some differences in the strength of the disability-mood relationship in men and women. In men, the mediation of negative mood accounted for between 21 and 37 percent of the total effect of pain on disability while in women it accounted for between 69 and 82 percent.

"These data suggest that pain-related disability is more directly related to pain in males. Conversely, in females, the effect of pain on pain-related disability appears to operate through negative mood," the authors conclude.

Abstract (#897)

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