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Anxiety, depression, and opioid misuse among adults with chronic pain: the role of emotion dysregulation.

Authors
  • Rogers, Andrew H1
  • Orr, Michael F1
  • Shepherd, Justin M1
  • Bakhshaie, Jafar2
  • Ditre, Joseph W3
  • Buckner, Julia D4
  • Zvolensky, Michael J5, 6, 7
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Houston, 3695 Cullen Blvd., Room 126, Houston, TX, 77204, USA.
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
  • 3 Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA.
  • 4 Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.
  • 5 Department of Psychology, University of Houston, 3695 Cullen Blvd., Room 126, Houston, TX, 77204, USA. [email protected]
  • 6 Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. [email protected]
  • 7 HEALTH Institute, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of behavioral medicine
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
Volume
44
Issue
1
Pages
66–73
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10865-020-00169-8
PMID: 32594288
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The opioid epidemic is a significant public health concern in the United States, particularly among adults with chronic pain. Considerable research suggests that people with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, may experience more opioid-related problems in the context of chronic pain. Yet, little work has examined potential mechanisms underyling these relations. Emotion dysregulation is one mechanistic factor that may link anxiety and depression and opioid-related problems among persons with chronic pain. Therefore, the current study examined the explanatory role of emotion dysregulation in the cross-sectional relationship between anxiety and depression problems and current opioid misuse and severity of opioid dependence among 431 adults with chronic pain who reported currently using opioid medications (74% female, Mage=38.32 years, SD = 11.11). Results indicated that emotion dysregulation explained, in part, the relationship between anxiety and depression symptoms and opioid-related problems. These findings highlight the need to further consider the role of emotion dysregulation among adults with chronic pain who use prescription opioids and experience symptoms of anxiety or depression. Future prospective research will be needed to further establish emotion dysregulation as a mechanism in anxiety/depression-opioid misuse/dependence processes.

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