The role of work stress as a moderating variable in the chronic pain and depression association
Munce, Sarah E.P.
Blacmore, Emma K. Robertson
Stewart, Donna E.
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Objective This article aims to examine the role of work stress as a moderating variable in the chronic pain–depression association, as well as sex differences in this link. Methods The analyses were carried out using the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 1.1. Key variables were chronic pain conditions (fibromyalgia, arthritis/rheumatism, back problems, and migraine headaches), work stress, and depression. The total sample comprises 78,593 working individuals. Results In this working sample, 7.6% met criteria for major depression, but the prevalence increased to 12% in those also reporting chronic pain. Both depression and comorbid chronic pain and depression were twice as prevalent in women as in men. Having a chronic pain condition and overall work stress emerged as the strongest predictors of depression. Unexpectedly, however, none of the work stress domains moderated the chronic pain and depression association. Conclusion The impact of work stress should be considered in the etiology and management of major depression.