Pain and depressive symptoms may influence each other; however, treatment should be provided for both conditions rather than only treating one of the two conditions.
Why this matters
Pain and depression are highly prevalent in American veterans, particularly those aged 50 years or above, with 66.7−69.8% experiencing chronic pain and 7.1−11.6% experiencing severe pain.
Although some research has studied the causal link between pain and depression, findings have been inconsistent.
There is a lack of research that examines the relationship between pain and depression in older American veterans, who are at increased risk of chronic pain and psychiatric morbidity.
Therefore, a longitudinal study to clarify the association between pain and depressive symptoms in American veterans over 50 years is warranted.