“I battle pain every single day”: Pain-related illness intrusiveness among persons with multiple sclerosis.

Objectives: Pain has been identified as a highly prevalent and common correlate of physical and emotional dysfunction among persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Yet, it remains unknown how PwMS experience the intrusiveness of pain relative to other challenges associated with living with MS. This study aimed to determine the extent to which PwMS experience pain as a particularly intrusive problem among the totality of their experience of MS-related challenges and to examine how cognitive and affective factors, including resiliency, are associated with PwMS’s pain-related illness intrusiveness. Method: Participants (N = 161) were PwMS with at least mild pain who were recruited through the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis Registry for this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Illness Intrusiveness Ratings Scale twice regarding their (a) MS and (b) pain. Multiple regression analyses were run to evaluate the relationship between MS- and pain-related illness intrusiveness, as well as the cognitive and affective predictors of the latter. Results: Controlling for level of disease severity, pain-related illness intrusiveness was a significant predictor of MS-related illness intrusiveness (p < .001). Depressive symptom severity was the strongest predictor of pain-related illness intrusiveness (p < .001), followed by pain catastrophizing (p < .001). The relationship between pain-related illness intrusiveness and pain catastrophizing was mediated (med) by coping strategies (Rmed2 = .15) and support from family and friends (Rmed2 = .07), with the latter mediating pain-related illness intrusiveness's relationship with depressive symptom severity (Rmed2 = .10). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)