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Pain. 1988 Oct;35(1):79-89.

A comparison of family functioning when mothers have chronic pain.

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Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


Multiple aspects of family functioning were assessed when mothers experienced either chronic pain, a chronic illness (diabetes), or no illness. Mothers' and fathers' self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and family environment were collected. Children's self-report measures of depression and anxiety, as well as information about their overall adjustment, were collected. Family communication patterns were also assessed. Families with a mother who had chronic pain had poorer perceived family environments and higher levels of depression and anxiety compared to the other two groups of families. Children from chronic pain families also appeared to be adversely affected. The data suggest that level of disability appeared more salient than the type of chronic illness. Implications of the findings are discussed in light of the fact that mothers with chronic pain in the present sample reported relatively mild disability and were not actively seeking treatment for their condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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