Moderating effect of communication difficulty on the relationship between depression and pain: A study on community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong

Wallace Chi Ho Chan, Chi Wai Kwan, Iris Chi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the relationship between depression and pain, and the moderating effect of communication difficulty on this relationship, among community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong. Method: We used logistic regression to analyze secondary data regarding 12,402 Chinese older adults applying for long-term care service in Hong Kong in 2012. Results: Approximately 30% of participants were depressed and 37% experienced communication difficulty. Depression was associated with increased pain. Communication difficulty was found to moderate the relationship between depression and pain. Pain scores increased more when individuals who experienced communication difficulty reported being depressed, compared to those who did not experience communication difficulty. Conclusion: The moderating effect of communication difficulty may be explained by the interaction between depression and communication difficulty. Participants who were depressed and concurrently experienced communication difficulty may be more likely to catastrophize their pain and may tend to report or experience more pain. Health care professionals need to be aware of the different effects of communication difficulty on the pain experiences of older adults. Psychosocial intervention may be provided to minimize older adults' communication barriers to pain management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-834
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume19
Issue number9
Early online date15 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this