Personality traits tied to persistent pain, opioid use

  • Sutin AR & al.
  • J Psychosom Res
  • 30.04.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • People whose personality traits include higher neuroticism and lower extraversion and conscientiousness had a higher risk for persistent pain and prescription opioid use up to 10 years after completing a personality assessment.

Why this matters

  • Incorporating personality traits measured via the Five Factor Model could help clinicians predict which patients may be more likely to suffer from long-term chronic pain and opioid use.

Study design

  • Study of 8491 participants from the Health and Retirement Study.
  • Funding: National Institute on Aging.

Key results

  • 40% of patients experienced persistent pain and 14% reported taking opioid pain medication within the previous 3 months.
  • Neuroticism was associated with higher risk for persistent pain (OR, 1.44; P<.001 and opioid medication use p during the follow-up.>
  • Extraversion was associated with lower risk for persistent pain (OR, 0.83; P<.001 and opioid medication use p=".005).</li">
  • Conscientiousness was associated with lower risk for persistent pain (OR, 0.83; P<.001 and opioid medication use p=".003).</li">

Limitations

  • Observational design.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD