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Keywords:

  • pain;
  • disability;
  • race;
  • aging;
  • health disparities

Abstract

In this study we examined pain and disability in 115 community-dwelling, urban, older adults (mean age = 74 years; 52% Black, 48% White). Participants completed a survey of pain (pain presence, intensity, locations, and duration) and disability (Sickness Impact Profile). Sixty percent of the sample reported pain; Black and White adults did not differ on any pain variable. In structural equation models controlling for socioeconomic factors and health, pain did not mediate the relationship between race and disability. Race moderated the pain–disability relationship; pain was more associated with disability among Whites than Blacks. This study highlights the need for greater understanding of health disparities between Black and White older adults as they relate to pain and disability. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 31:341–354, 2008