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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 24

Home Health Care Serv Q

Exploring biopsychosocial correlates of pain, pain management strategies, and risk for opioid misuse among home care workers in Washington State.


Home care workers (HCWs) are at high risk for musculoskeletal pain and injury, and they are an important population for pain management research and intervention. The purpose of this study was to gather novel data on HCWs' work characteristics, pain experiences, pain management strategies, and risk for opioid misuse. A survey invitation was e-mailed to a random sub-sample of HCWs in Washington State, and 421 responded. Over half (54.2%) reported chronic or currently elevated pain. Pharmacological pain management strategies were used by 67.3% of all respondents with 4.8% reporting prescription opioid use. Biopsychosocial factors like injuries, interpersonal conflict, financial strain, and anxiety were associated with increased opioid misuse risk. Multimodal primary and secondary interventions are recommended to improve HCWs' pain management.