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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jun 2020 - 3 Jul 2020


Human Studies

2020 Jun 27

J Behav Med

Anxiety, depression, and opioid misuse among adults with chronic pain: the role of emotion dysregulation.


Rogers AH, Orr MF, Shepherd JM, Bakhshaie J, Ditre JW, Buckner JD, Zvolensky MJ
J Behav Med. 2020 Jun 27.
PMID: 32594288.


The opioid epidemic is a significant public health concern in the United States, particularly among adults with chronic pain. Considerable research suggests that people with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, may experience more opioid-related problems in the context of chronic pain. Yet, little work has examined potential mechanisms underyling these relations. Emotion dysregulation is one mechanistic factor that may link anxiety and depression and opioid-related problems among persons with chronic pain. Therefore, the current study examined the explanatory role of emotion dysregulation in the cross-sectional relationship between anxiety and depression problems and current opioid misuse and severity of opioid dependence among 431 adults with chronic pain who reported currently using opioid medications (74% female, M=38.32 years, SD = 11.11). Results indicated that emotion dysregulation explained, in part, the relationship between anxiety and depression symptoms and opioid-related problems. These findings highlight the need to further consider the role of emotion dysregulation among adults with chronic pain who use prescription opioids and experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. Future prospective research will be needed to further establish emotion dysregulation as a mechanism in anxiety/depression-opioid misuse/dependence processes.