The Relationship between Pain, Disability, and Sex in African Americans.
Older African Americans consistently report diminished capacities to perform activities of daily living (ADL) compared with other racial groups. The extent to which bodily pain is related to declining abilities to perform ADL/ADL disability in African Americans remains unclear, as does whether this relationship exists to the same degree in African American men and women. For nurses to provide optimal care for older African Americans, a better understanding of the relationship between bodily pain and ADL disability and how it may differ by sex is needed. The aim of this study was to examine whether pain, age, education, income, marital status and/or comorbid conditions were associated with ADL disabilities in older African American women and men. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. The sample included 598 participants (446 women, 152 men) from the first wave of the Baltimore Study on Black Aging. African American women (odds ratio [OR] = 4.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.63-6.26) and African American men (OR = 6.44; 95% CI = 2.84-14.57) who reported bodily pain had greater ADL disability than those who did not report bodily pain. Having two or more comorbid conditions also was significantly associated with ADL disability in African American women (OR = 3.95; 95% CI: 2.09-7.47). Further work is needed to understand pain differences between older African American women and men to develop interventions that can be tailored to meet the individual pain needs of both groups.
Walker, JL; Thorpe, RJ; Harrison, TC; Baker, TA; Cary, M; Szanton, SL; Allaire, JC; Whitfield, KE
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