Psycho-social characteristics in patients with discopathy: Quality of Life, coping strategy and mood state

J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2020 Jul-Aug;34(4 Suppl. 1):37-45. SPECIAL ISSUE: OZONE THERAPY.


The pathologies of the musculoskeletal apparatus are the most common cause of chronic diseases, with a huge impact on people and society. Scientific literature has discovered how experiencing chronic pain directly affects peoples' well-being, lifestyle, social relationships and can also cause psychological distress. The present study aims to investigate pain experience in patients with hernias or protrusions of the cervical and lumbosacral tract on a sample of 120 patients, recruited from patients of Poliambulatorio Oberdan, medical centre in Brescia (Italy) specialized in physical rehabilitation and CT-guided oxygen ozone therapy. In a bio-psychosocial perspective, the research aimed to investigate how the perception of pain, the mood state associated with it, the coping strategies adopted and the quality of life differ according to each patient's gender and to the more or less prolonged use of pain medication. The data were collected by means of medical and psychological anamnestic interviews and self-report tests (WHOQOL-BREF, COPE-NVI, POMS). The quantitative analysis, carried out through SPSS 25 (2017) software, showed how functional impairment of one's autonomy (walking, driving) affects mood states. In particular, the female sample expressed a more deflected mood, despite the greater use of relational and/or transcendent support (coping strategies) compared to men. The study suggests that the greater impairment of the moods of women can be attributed both to the caregiving role they play, which often results in a greater fatigue and difficulties in redefining this role following the algic condition, and more general differences in the expression of suffering, which, on a cultural level, sees men emotionally coerced. The analysis also shows how taking pain medication for a long period of time has a negative impact on the quality of life. The results suggest that the patients treated with analgesic therapy tend to adopt avoidant coping styles, which usually escalate into postponement of the time when dealing with a stressful situation and, if used in the long run, may lead to worsening health condition.

Keywords: coping strategy; discopathy; gender; mood state.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sociological Factors
  • Stress, Psychological