Impact of Chronic Pain and Perceived Opioid Benefit on Value Domains

Elizabeth Lehinger, David E. Reed, Donald D. McGeary, Brittany N. Hager, John D. Roache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-pharmacological chronic pain treatments increasingly incorporate values-based approaches as an alternative to opioid therapy. Chronic pain and opioid use may differentially impact value domains such as family or work, and there is little guidance on how to implement values-based treatment to address pain and comorbid opioid use. This study aims to characterize ways in which chronic pain and values interact. Participants (N = 327) 18 or older (M = 46 years) experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain for > 3 months and actively taking a prescription opioid completed an online, self-report survey assessing the importance of values in six domains (i.e., family, intimate relationships, friendship, work, health, growth). Participants responded to questions about pain interference with and without opioids, and subjective impact of pain within each value domain. There were significant differences between the six value domains in importance ratings. Pain interference also differed among the values with the most reported pain interference occurring in the work and health domains. Pain interference without opioids was significantly greater for work, health, and family than the other values. The subjective impact of pain interference was greatest for family, work, and health as well. Across all value domains, pain interference without opioids was significantly greater than pain interference with the use of opioids. Results highlight that value domains are differentially impacted by chronic pain and opioids are perceived as reducing pain interference across all values. These results provide an initial description from which theory and hypotheses can be developed. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-698
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Chronic pain
  • Opioid use
  • Pain interference
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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