Predictors of pain intensity and pain functioning in patients with the hepatitis C virus

Benjamin J. Morasco, Marilyn Huckans, Jennifer M. Loftis, Jonathan Woodhouse, Adriana Seelye, Dennis C. Turk, Peter Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationships among biological and psychological variables with pain intensity and pain functioning in patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Methods: Participants were 49 patients with HCV who completed well-validated assessments of pain intensity and pain functioning. Participants also completed measures of psychological functioning, and medical records were reviewed. Results: Thirty-three (67.3%) of 49 participants had a current diagnosis for a pain-related condition. Regression analyses were conducted to examine variables associated with pain intensity and pain functioning. The psychosocial variables, particularly depression severity, accounted for an additional 21% of the variance in average pain intensity (P=002) and 33% of the variance in pain functioning (P<001). These results remained significant even after controlling for demographic characteristics, opioid prescription status and disease-related variables. Conclusion: These results provide preliminary support for the role of biological and psychological factors in the development and exacerbation of pain in HCV patients. Future studies should include a more comprehensive assessment of pain-related factors and examine their associations with additional disease-related and biological variables. Developing a better understanding of the factors associated with pain in HCV patients will help to inform future interventions for chronic pain in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by a VA Career Development Award and Northwest Health Foundation grant awarded to Dr. Huckans. Dr. Morasco was supported by award K23DA023467 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse . The content of this manuscript is the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


  • Biopsychosocial model
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Hepatitis C virus


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