8th European Pain Congress; Pain in Europe, Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacology, Volume: Vol 28, No 1, pages 56-69

mujahed.shraim's picture
Research Title: 
Partners of Pain Sufferers Shoulder a Heavy Burden
Paul Campbell
Mujahed Shraim
Kelvin P Jordan
Kate M Dunn
Sun, 2013-12-01
Research Abstract: 

Background and Aims
Research has shown illness concordance between couples for some conditions (hypertension, allergies, depression, peptic ulcers, heart disease) but not others (e.g. diabetes, stroke). To date little information exists on concordance between couples for musculoskeletal conditions. The aim of this study is to determine whether a primary care consultation for a musculoskeletal condition is more likely if a person’s partner also consults for a musculoskeletal condition.
Analysis of 13,057 couples (27,014 patients) using data from a UK Primary Care medical record database (CiPCA). The main outcome measures were recorded morbidity codes relating to any musculoskeletal condition, specifically regional disorders (back, knee, neck, shoulder, foot) and osteoarthritis during the course of one year. Associations between consultations for musculoskeletal conditions in females and their male partners were analysed using logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
8292 patients (31%) were classified as having a musculoskeletal consultation. Women whose partner had a musculoskeletal consultation were more likely to have consulted for a musculoskeletal condition (adjusted OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.32). This association was highest for shoulder disorders (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.47).
There is an increase in the likelihood of a musculoskeletal consultation if a partner has also consulted for a musculoskeletal condition. Possible explanations include the shared environment and shared illness beliefs that couples may have. These findings raise implications on the consideration of social factors and partner effects for musculoskeletal consultations in primary care.