I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 12

Geriatr Nurs


Self-reported pain and fatigue are associated with physical and cognitive function in middle to older-aged adults.


Peterson JA, Staud R, Thomas PA, Goodin BR, Fillingim RB, Cruz-Almeida Y
Geriatr Nurs. 2023 Jan 12; 50:7-14.
PMID: 36640518.


Persistent fatigue is often reported in those with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Separately, both chronic pain and chronic fatigue contribute to physical and cognitive decline in older adults. Concurrent pain and fatigue symptoms may increase disability and diminish quality of life, though little data exist to show this. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between self-reported pain and fatigue, both independently and combined, with cognitive and physical function in middle-older-aged adults with chronic knee pain. Using a cross-sectional study design participants (n = 206, age 58.0 ± 8.3) completed questionnaires on pain and fatigue, a physical performance battery to assess physical function, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Hierarchical regressions and moderation analyses were used to assess the relationship between the variables of interest. Pain and fatigue both predicted physical function (β = -0.305, p < 0.001; β = -0.219, p = 0.003, respectively), however only pain significantly predicted cognitive function (β = -0.295, p <0.001). A centered pain*fatigue interaction was a significant predictor of both cognitive function (β = -0.137, p = 0.049) and physical function (β = -0.146, p = 0.048). These findings indicate that self-reported fatigue may contribute primarily to decline in physical function among individuals with chronic pain, and less so to decline in cognitive function. Future studies should examine the impact of both cognitive and physical function decline together on overall disability and health.