Predictors of mental health status among older united states adults with pain

David R. Axon, Jonathan Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Poor mental health is common among older adults with pain, resulting in high economic burden and impaired quality of life. This retrospective, cross-sectional database study aimed to identify characteristics associated with good mental health status among United States (US) adults aged _50 years with self-reported pain in the last four weeks using a weighted sample of 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. Hierarchical multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify statistically significant predictors of good (versus poor) perceived mental health status. From a weighted population of 57,074,842 individuals, 85.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 84.4%, 86.7%) had good perceived mental health. Good mental health was associated most strongly with physical health status (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 9.216, 95% CI = 7.044, 12.058). Employed individuals were 1.7 times more likely to report good mental health versus unemployed (AOR = 1.715, 95% CI = 1.199, 2.452). Individuals who had completed less than high school education (AOR = 0.750, 95% CI = 0.569, 0.987) or who reported having a limitation (AOR = 0.513, 95% CI = 0.384, 0.684) were less likely to report good mental health. These key characteristics can be utilized to predict mental health status, which may be investigated to better manage concurrent pain and poor mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Health care surveys
  • Mental health
  • Older adults
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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