Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Operant and cognitive-behavioral models of chronic pain have called attention to the importance of examining the marital and family environments of chronic pain patients. In this study, 50 chronic pain patients and their spouses and 33 control participants and their spouses completed measures of the family environment, marital satisfaction, and patient physical and psychological functioning. Patients' overt pain behaviors were coded from videotapes of patient–spouse interactions. Compared to controls, pain patients and their spouses rated their family environments as lower in cohesion and higher in control, and there was a trend for spouses to report more marital dissatisfaction. Chronic pain patient depression was associated negatively with patient-rated family cohesion and expressiveness and spouse-rated family organization and positively with patient-rated family conflict. Overt patient pain behaviors and spouse-rated patient disability were related negatively to spouse-rated family cohesion. Spouse marital satisfaction was associated negatively with patient depression and with spouse ratings of patient disability and pain behaviors.
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