• Good advice for aches, pains & injuries

Daily Spousal Responsiveness Predicts Longer-Term Trajectories of Patients' Physical Function


Tags: chronic pain, mind, arthritis, pain problems, aging

One article on PainSci cites Wilson 2017: Pain Relief from Personal Growth

PainSci summary of Wilson 2017: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

Empathy and sympathy matter. Please, wives and husbands, don’t roll your eyes at your spouse’s symptom reports! In this study of 145 people with knee osteoarthritis, patients whose spouses were more openly sympathetic did better compared to those whose spouses were “punishing” or merely “solicitous.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Everyday interpersonal experiences may underlie the well-established link between close relationships and physical health, but multiple-timescale designs necessary for strong conclusions about temporal sequence are rarely used. The current study of 145 patients with knee osteoarthritis and their spouses focused on a novel pattern in everyday interactions, daily spousal responsiveness-the degree to which spouses' responses are calibrated to changes in patients' everyday verbal expression of pain. Using couple-level slopes, multilevel latent-variable growth models tested associations between three types of daily spousal responsiveness (empathic, solicitous, and punishing responsiveness), as measured during a 3-week experience-sampling study, and change in patients' physical function across 18 months. As predicted, patients whose spouses were more empathically responsive to their pain expression showed better physical function over time compared with those whose spouses were less empathically responsive. This study points to daily responsiveness, a theoretically rooted operationalization of spousal sensitivity, as important for long-term changes in patients' objective physical function.

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: