Mental Health and Pain in Older Adults: Findings from Urban HEART-2
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Pain is an important component of disability problems, and plays a key role in mental health of older adults. This study aims to investigate the relationship between mental health and pain in older adults of Tehran, Iran. This was a cross-sectional study using data on 5326 older adults aged ≥60 years old from a large population-based survey (Urban HEART-2). A multistage cluster random sampling method was used to select the participants in Tehran, Iran, in 2011. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), pain questionnaire, and socioeconomic questionnaires were used to collect the data. A total of 5326 older adults, 3811 (71.6%) married and 2797 (52.5%) female, were included into the study. The mean age of the participants was 68.92 ± 7.02 years. Mean of GHQ-28 scores in the sample was 51.08 ± 10.94, which indicates of a good level of mental health. The majority of the older adults had knee and back pain (more than 50%). Regardless of the chronicity, time, and the mode of reaction to it, knee and back pain were the highly reported pains among the participants. There was a statistically significant difference between two groups of older adults, with and without pain, in terms of GHQ-28 scores. Multiple regression analysis revealed that there was a relationship between mental health and the following factors: pain in head, shoulder, teeth, upper and lower limbs, education, gender, age, and marital status. Whatever the explanation, the relation of lowered health status to pain in all body parts among older people is considerable. This renders this matter as a top priority in health policy making.