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Caregiving for older people living with chronic pain: Analysis of the English longitudinal study of ageing and health survey for England

To, Smith; Mansfield, Lynsey-Ruth Mansfield; Dures, Emma; Smith, Toby


Smith To

Lynsey-Ruth Mansfield Mansfield

Emma Dures
Associate Professor in Rheumatology and Self-management

Toby Smith


BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is a disabling condition. Many people with chronic pain seek informal support for everyday activities of daily living. However there remains uncertainty on the type of people with chronic pain who access this support, what types of support they need and who provides such support. The purpose of this analysis was to answer these uncertainties.

METHODS: Data from the Health Survey for England (HSE) and English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) were accessed. People who reported chronic pain (moderate or above for minimum of 12months) were identified. From these cohorts, we determined if individuals self-reported receiving informal care. Data on caregiver profiles and caregiving activities were reported through descriptive statistics. Logistic regression analyses were performed to compare health status outcomes between people with pain who received and who did not receive informal care.

RESULTS: 2178 people with chronic pain from the ELSA cohort and 571 from the HSE cohort were analysed. People who received care were frequently female, older aged with several medical morbidities including musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis. People with chronic pain received informal care for several diverse tasks. Most frequently these related to instrumental activities of daily living such as shopping and housework. They were most frequently provided by partners or their
children. Although they reported greater disability and symptoms (p<0.001), people who received care did not report differences in health status, loneliness or wellbeing (p=0.27; p=0.46).

CONCLUSIONS: Whilst it may be possible to characterise people living in chronic pain who receive informal care, there is some uncertainty on the impact of informal caregiving on their health and wellbeing. Consideration should now be made on how best to support both care recipients and informal caregivers, to ensure their health and quality of life is promoted whilst living with chronic pain.


To, S., Mansfield, L. M., Dures, E., & Smith, T. (in press). Caregiving for older people living with chronic pain: Analysis of the English longitudinal study of ageing and health survey for England. British Journal of Pain,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 22, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2022
Journal British Journal of Pain
Print ISSN 2049-4637
Electronic ISSN 2049-4645
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Persistent pain; support; care; family network; national cohort
Public URL
Additional Information Ethical approval: ELSA Wave 7: South Central – Berkshire Research Ethics Committee on 23rd September 2015 (Reference: 15/SC/0526). HSE2019-HSE2019: East Midlands Nottingham 2 Research
Ethics Committee in 2015 (Reference no. 15/EM/0254).