Examination of perceived spouse responses to patient well and pain behavior in patients with headache

Clin J Pain. 2008 Oct;24(8):654-61. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31817708ea.


Objectives: Primary: to examine the association between perceived spouse responses to patient well behaviors and important patient variables (pain behavior, pain intensity, pain interference, and depressive symptoms). Secondary: to examine whether perceived spouse responses to patient pain behaviors are associated with important pain-related variables.

Methods: Sixty-four patients with headache and their spouses completed self-report questionnaire packets that included measures of pain intensity, pain behaviors, depression, marital satisfaction, and perceived spouse responses to pain and well behaviors. Separate regression models were used to predict each dependent variable.

Results: Patient reports of spouse negative responses to well behaviors were significantly associated with greater patient reported pain behavior and pain intensity, whereas perceptions of facilitative responses to well behaviors were not significantly related to any dependent variable. Patient reports of spouse solicitous responses to patient pain behaviors were associated with higher levels of pain behavior, depressive symptoms, pain intensity, and pain interference.

Discussion: Perceptions of spouse responses to patient well behaviors seem to have important associations with patient functioning, yet have received insufficient research attention. The Spouse Response Inventory (SRI) thus represents a valuable addition to available research instruments because it assesses spouse responses to well behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Headache / complications*
  • Headache / epidemiology
  • Headache / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Pain / complications*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Perception
  • Spouses / psychology*