Association of sense of coherence and depression in chronic pain patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Association of sense of coherence and depression in chronic pain patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Background: Chronic pain is a common complaint having distressing consequences for those that suffer from it. Pain and depression concur within the context of comorbidity, and both share underlying stress conditions. Sense of coherence (SOC) is a factor that determines how well an individual manages stress and stays healthy. Its relationship with depression has been frequently reported in the literature. Our objective was to assess the amount of evidence available regarding the association between SOC and depression in patients suffering from chronic pain.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. Searches were conducted between November 01 and December 31, 2020 in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, PsycINFO, Psicodoc, ScienceDirect and Dialnet. There were no restrictions regarding the date of publication of the study. Evidence related to the relationship between SOC and depression in patients with chronic pain was summarized and compared.

Results: A total of 163 articles were identified. We included 9 papers in the qualitative and quantitative synthesis. The pooled correlation coefficient was -0.55 (95%: -0.70; -0.41) and was not modified after removing any study. The heterogeneity across the studies was considerable (I2 = 94.8%; p < 0.001). The random-effects meta-regression models for the association between SOC and depression showed that age (p = 0.148) and percentage of women (p = 0.307) were not related to heterogeneity across studies. No publication bias was detected (p = 0.720).

Conclusions: At first glance, the included studies give the impression that SOC is an important factor in depression levels of patients with chronic pain. Most of the included studies revealed a moderate association between SOC and depressive symptoms.

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