Associations Between Spousal or Significant Other Solicitous Responses and Opioid Dose in Patients with Chronic Pain

Julie L. Cunningham, Sarah E. Hayes, Cynthia O. Townsend, Heidi J. Laures, W. Michael Hooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Objective. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effects of spouse or significant other solicitous responses on morphine equivalent dose among adults with chronic pain. Design. Retrospective design. Setting. Multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation center. Patients. The cohort included 466 consecutively admitted patients who had a spouse or significant other and were using daily opioids. Intervention. Three-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program. Outcome Measures. Solicitous subscale of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory and morphine equivalent dose upon admission. Results. The mean solicitous subscale score and morphine equivalent dose were 49.8 (standard deviation [SD]=8.7) and 118mg/day (SD=149), respectively. Univariate linear regression analysis showed that greater subscale scores were associated with greater doses of opioids (P=0.007). In a multivariate model adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, years of education, employment status, pain duration, depression, and pain severity, the association retained significance (P=0.007). Conclusions. These findings suggest solicitous responses from a spouse or significant other may have an important influence on opioid dose among adults with chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1034-1039
Number of pages6
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012



  • Chronic pain
  • Opioids
  • Solicitous response
  • Spouse or significant other

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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