Chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and depressive mood are prevalent conditions in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between these conditions in adults with SCI. Multivariate analysis of variance, contingency analyses, and hierarchical regression were used to determine the nature of the relationship, as well as the contribution to this relationship of self-efficacy, a potential mediator variable. Seventy participants with SCI living in the community completed an assessment regimen of demographic and psychometric measures, including validated measures of pain, fatigue, depressive mood, and self-efficacy. Results indicated that participants with high levels of chronic pain had clinically elevated depressive mood, confusion, fatigue, anxiety and anger, low vigor, and poor self-efficacy. Participants with high chronic pain had 8 times the odds of having depressive mood and 9 times the odds of having chronic fatigue. Regression analyses revealed that chronic pain contributed significantly to elevated depressive mood and that self-efficacy mediated (cushioned) the impact of chronic pain on mood. Furthermore, both chronic pain and depressive mood were shown to contribute independently to chronic fatigue. Implications of these results for managing chronic pain in adults with SCI are discussed. Perspective: The relationship between pain, negative mood, fatigue, and self-efficacy in adults with SCI was explored. Results support a model that proposes that chronic pain lowers mood, which is mediated (lessened) by self-efficacy, whereas pain and mood independently increase chronic fatigue. Results provide direction for treating chronic pain in SCI.
- Chronic pain
- spinal cord injury