The pain of low status: the relationship between subjective socioeconomic status and analgesic prescriptions in a Scottish community sample

Juliet Ruth Helen Wakefield (Lead / Corresponding author), Fabio Sani, Vishnu Madhok, Michael Norbury, Pat Dugard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is a strong positive relationship between objective measures of socioeconomic status (OSS) and general health. However, there is an increasing interest in the relationship between health and subjective socioeconomic status (SSS), which describes one’s perceived rank in relation to the rest of society, based on factors such as income, occupation, and education. While the relationship between SSS and general health is well-established, the relationship between SSS and pain has received little attention. Gathering both self-report questionnaire data and General Practitioner medical data from a large representative community sample in Scotland between 2012 and 2013 (N = 1824), we investigated the relationship between SSS and prescriptions for analgesic drugs. We found that higher levels of SSS significantly predicted lower odds of participants having been prescribed at least one analgesic drug in the previous six months. We obtained this result even after controlling for OSS-related variables (education, occupational status, and geographical location) and demographic variables (age and gender). This suggests that, just like the relationship between SSS and general health, SSS has important effects on pain that go beyond the influence of OSS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date16 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • socioeconomic statu
  • health
  • analgesics
  • psychosocial determinants of pain
  • pain
  • objective socioeconomic status
  • subjective socioeconomic status

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