Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 648–657 | Cite as

Rates and Correlates of Unemployment Across Four Common Chronic Pain Diagnostic Categories

  • Hili GiladiEmail author
  • Whitney Scott
  • Yoram Shir
  • Michael J. L. Sullivan


Purpose To examine rates and correlates of unemployment across distinct common chronic pain diagnoses. Methods Data were analyzed from a sample of 2,382 patients with chronic pain in the Quebec Pain Registry (QPR). Patients were grouped into the following diagnostic categories based on their primary pain diagnosis recorded in the QPR: musculoskeletal pain; myofascial pain; neuropathic pain, and visceral pain. Analyses were performed to examine the associations between pain diagnosis, patient demographics, pain intensity, depressive symptoms, and unemployment status. Results Pain diagnosis, age, marital status, education, pain intensity, and depressive symptoms were each significant unique predictors of unemployment status in a hierarchical logistic regression analysis; the addition of depressive symptoms in this model contributed to the greatest increment of model fit. Conclusions Depressive symptoms are associated with unemployment across a number of common chronic pain conditions, even when controlling for other factors that are associated with unemployment in these patients. Depressive symptoms, as a modifiable factor, may thus be an important target of intervention for unemployed patients with chronic pain.


Depressive symptomatology Chronic pain Unemployment 



This study was supported by unrestricted education and research grants from the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, Montreal, Canada. The authors thank Annie Trépanier for her assistance in accessing the Quebec Pain Registry and in extracting data. Hili Giladi was supported by a grant from the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, Montreal, Canada. The Quebec Pain Registry is supported by funds from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec and Pfizer.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hili Giladi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Whitney Scott
    • 4
  • Yoram Shir
    • 1
  • Michael J. L. Sullivan
    • 2
  1. 1.The Alan Edwards Pain Management UnitMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Midreshet Ben GurionIsrael
  4. 4.Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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