Chronic pain and the family: a review

Pain. 1986 Jul;26(1):1-22. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(86)90169-7.


This paper reviews the literature on chronic pain patients and their families. The review focuses on family and marital variables correlated with pain, conceptualizations of the family's role in maintaining pain, reports of family treatment and follow-up studies of the family's impact on treatment. Although research in this field is generally weak methodologically, and the mechanisms whereby the family affects chronic pain are still little understood, the authors conclude that family characteristics and behaviors contribute strongly to a chronic pain problem and they have a significant influence on treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / complications
  • Family Characteristics
  • Family Therapy
  • Family*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Marriage
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Sick Role
  • Socioeconomic Factors