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Chronic pain, military, sleep disruption, work performance



  1. Ransom, Jeffrey C. PhD, DNP, FNP-BC


Background: Effectively managing pain is a unique challenge for the U.S. military. Chronic pain has a tremendous detrimental impact on mission readiness throughout the Armed Forces. Examining the effects of chronic pain on readiness is critical to understanding and addressing these challenges.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of chronic pain and sleep disruption in the context of work performance among active duty military service members.


Methodological Orientation: The study design was a cross-sectional observational study that examined associations between patients with chronic pain and sleep disruption, in the context of work performance.


Results: One hundred forty-five participants completed the study. Age, depression, sleep, and pain severity were consistently strong predictors of work performance.


Conclusions: Patients performed better with age, whereas those with depression, sleep disruption, and increased pain severity performed poorly.


Implications for Practice: Research focused on the differences in work performance among age groups may provide a better understanding of coping strategies. Focused depression research can lead to a greater understanding of how mental health affects pain, sleep, and work. The findings of this study open the door to explore multiple approaches that could lead to treatments and preventions for military members living with chronic pain.