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Depression and Pain in Asian Americans and Whites with Knee Osteoarthritis.

J Pain. 2017 Jun 12;:

Authors: Ahn H, Weaver M, Lyon D, Choi E, Fillingim RB

Few studies have examined the underlying psychosocial mechanisms of pain in Asian Americans. Using the biopsychosocial model, we sought to determine whether variations in depression contribute to racial group differences in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis pain between Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites. The sample consisted of 100 participants, including 50 Asian Americans (28 Korean Americans, 9 Chinese Americans, 7 Japanese Americans, 5 Filipino Americans, and 1 Indian American) and 50 age- and sex-matched non-Hispanic whites with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis pain. The Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to assess symptoms of depression, and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index and the Graded Chronic Pain Scale were used to measure clinical pain. In addition, quantitative sensory testing was used to measure experimental sensitivity to heat- and mechanically-induced pain. The results indicated that higher levels of depression in Asian Americans may contribute to greater clinical pain and experimental pain sensitivity. These findings add to the growing literature regarding ethnic and racial differences in pain and its associated psychological conditions, and additional research is warranted to strengthen these findings.
PERSPECTIVE: This article demonstrates the contribution of depression to clinical pain and experimental pain sensitivity in Asian Americans with knee osteoarthritis. Our results suggest that Asian Americans have higher levels of depressive symptoms and that depression plays a relevant role in greater clinical pain and experimental pain sensitivity in Asian Americans.

PMID: 28619697 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]