Pain and Suicidal Behavior in Primary Care Patients: Mediating Role of Interpersonal Needs

Pain, Social Distress and Suicide in Primary Care
  • Jameson K. Hirsch
  • Kelly C. Cukrowicz
  • Kristin L. Walker
Article

Abstract

Individuals experiencing chronic pain are at greater risk for suicidal behavior. The mechanism of action for this association is unexplored, but may involve the influence of pain on interpersonal functioning. We examined the mediating role of unsatisfied interpersonal needs on the relation between pain severity and interference, and suicidal behavior. Low income, uninsured participants completed self-report measures of pain severity and interference, thwarted interpersonal needs and suicidal behavior. Our hypotheses were partially supported; in simple mediation models, an indirect only effect existed for both thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness in the relation between pain severity and pain interference and suicidal behavior. These effects did not persist in multiple mediation analyses. Our findings suggest that, for patients experiencing pain, assessment and improvement of the quantity and quality of interpersonal relationships may reduce risk for suicide ideation and attempts.

Keywords

Suicidal behavior Pain severity Pain interference Thwarted interpersonal needs 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jameson K. Hirsch
    • 1
  • Kelly C. Cukrowicz
    • 2
  • Kristin L. Walker
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  3. 3.Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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