Impact of pain severity and location on health-related quality of life

Dennis C. Ang, Kurt Kroenke, Colleen A. McHorney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Despite evidence that persistent pain affects well-being, little is known about the relationship of the location of pain to psychological and functional well-being. To determine whether patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are more likely to be depressed and functionally disabled compared to patients with pain at other sites, we conducted a secondary data analysis of the Medical Outcome Study - an observational study of adult outpatients with chronic medical conditions. Of the 3,360 patients who completed the baseline assessment, 1,237 (36.8%) had MSD and 2,123 (63.2%) had no MSD. Among patients in the MSD group, 84.5% reported ≥mild pain as compared to 70% in the no MSD. In multivariate analyses, MSD patients were more likely than non-MSD patients to be depressed (β coefficient = -1.9, p = 0.008) and functionally disabled (β coefficient = -4.4, p < 0.0001). However, the impact of MSD was eliminated after controlling for pain severity. Regardless of the location of pain, pain severity appears to be an important correlate of functional status, both mental and physical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Observational study
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of pain severity and location on health-related quality of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this