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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 May 2021 - 7 May 2021

Human Studies

2021 Apr 23

J Clin Med



Association of Self-Reported Functional Limitations among a National Community-Based Sample of Older United States Adults with Pain: A Cross-Sectional Study.


The characteristics of self-reported functional limitations among older United States (US) adults with pain are currently unknown. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the characteristics associated with functional limitations among non-institutionalized older (≥50 years) US adults with pain using 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data. Eligible subjects were alive for the calendar year, aged ≥50 years, and experienced pain within the past four weeks. Hierarchical logistic regression models were utilized to determine significant characteristics associated with functional limitations (outcome variable; yes, no). Functional limitations included difficulty with bending, stooping, climbing stairs, grasping objects, lifting, reaching overhead, standing for long periods of time, or walking. Extrapolation of national data values was possible by adjusting for the complex MEPS design. We found approximately 22 million of the 57 million older US adults (≥50 years) who reported pain had a functional limitation in 2017. Characteristics associated with functional limitations included: gender, race, ethnicity, employment status, marital status, pain intensity, physical health, number of chronic conditions, and frequent exercise status. Knowledge of characteristics associated with functional limitations may provide an opportunity to identify and resolve gaps in patient care among this population.