Different Components of Subjective Well-being Are Associated With Chronic Nondisabling and Disabling Knee Pain: ELSA-Brasil Musculoskeletal Cohort

J Clin Rheumatol. 2021 Sep 1;27(6S):S301-S307. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000001472.


Background/objective: Chronic knee pain (CKP) is a common pain complaint in older adults that is often associated with disability. This study investigated the relationship between 2 components of subjective well-being (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) and CKP phenotypes based on the presence of knee disability.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed at baseline of ELSA-Brasil Musculoskeletal cohort (2012-2014). Chronic knee pain phenotypes were identified according to the presence of CKP that was accompanied or not by disability, which was assessed by a question on pain-related limitations to perform everyday activities (overall), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index's physical function subscale (daily tasks) and 5-times sit-to-stand test (objective). Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised and life satisfaction by the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Multinomial logistic regressions used CKP phenotypes as response variables (no CKP as reference).

Results: The sample comprised 2898 participants (mean age, 55.9 ± 8.9 years; 52.9% were female). After adjustments for sociodemographic and clinical factors, depressive symptoms were associated with daily tasks disabling CKP (odds ratio [OR], 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45-3.66) and objective disabling CKP (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.29-2.93) and with nondisabling CKP for the overall disability measure (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.17-2.04). Life satisfaction was inversely associated with all phenotypes in fully adjusted models, with strongest magnitude of associations observed for disabling CKP.

Conclusions: The association of depressive symptoms and life satisfaction with CKP phenotypes suggest the need to address both negative and positive components of subjective well-being in the assessment of individuals with knee complaints.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain* / diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain* / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee
  • Knee Joint
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / diagnosis
  • Pain