The relationship between chronic pain and health-related quality of life in long-term social assistance recipients in Norway

Qual Life Res. 2010 Dec;19(10):1457-65. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9707-4. Epub 2010 Jul 22.


Purpose: The purposes of this study were to compare the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of long-term social assistance recipients (LTRs) with and without chronic pain and determine the effect of select demographic, social, pain, alcohol, and illicit drug use characteristics on the physical and mental components of their HRQOL.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, which is part of a larger study that evaluated the health and functional abilities of LTRs in Norway, 405 LTRs of which 178 had chronic pain were recruited from 14 of 433 municipalities.

Results: LTRs with chronic pain were older (P < .001), more often married (P = .002), feeling more lonely, (P = .048), and had more problems with alcohol (P = .035). The final regression model explained 41.2% (P < .001) of the variance in PCS scores and 32.2% (P < .001) of the variance in MCS scores. Being in chronic pain (29.7%), being older (4.7%), and never married (2%) predicted worse PCS scores. Feeling lonely (11.9%), having problems with illicit drug use (5.9%), and being in chronic pain (2.9%) predicted worse MCS scores.

Conclusion: LTRs with chronic pain rated both the physical and mental components of HRQOL lower than LTRs without chronic pain. The MCS score in both groups was negatively effected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Loneliness / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Welfare
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult