Physical and psychosocial disability in elderly subjects in relation to pain in the hip and/or knee

Marijke Hopman-Rock*, Else Odding, Albert Hofman, Floris W. Kraaimaat, Johannes W.J. Bijlsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective. To determine physical and psychosocial disability in subjects aged 55 to 74 years living in the community, in relation to pain in the hip and/or knee, and to explore the relationships between pain, physical and psychosocial disability, and selected background variables. Methods. A subsample from a community based study on pain, disability, and radiological osteoarthritis (ROA) was used to identify groups with sporadic, episodic, and chronic pain and a reference group. Disability was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile. Data were available for 306 subjects (response 83%). Results. The mean physical disability in the group with chronic (and more severe) pain (N=59) was 5.4 times and psychosocial disability was 3.6 times higher than those of a reference group (N=72). The body mass index, the existence of extra mobility problems, and ROA were independently positively related to physical disability. Male sex, having extra mobility problems, and moderate ROA were independently positively related to psychosocial disability. Conclusion. Subjects with more chronic (and severe) pain in the hip and/or knee had relatively high levels of physical as well as psychosocial disability, compared to a reference group without any signs of OA. Pain chronicity had no significant contribution to physical disability, if corrected for other factors. Both forms of disability in subjects with pain were better predicted by ROA and by problems other than pain in the hip or knee alone, than by the chronicity of the pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1044
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1996

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