Why stay home? Temporal association of pain, fatigue and depression with being at home

Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D Bryce Ward, Ph.D., Tannis Hargrove, M.A., Jennifer Wong, M.A., Nick Livingston, M.A., Linda Torma, Ph.D., Catherine Ipsen, Ph.D.

Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 2, p218–225
Published online: November 25, 2015


Community participation is important to most people with disabilities despite the fact that common secondary conditions like pain, fatigue and depression may increase the difficulty of leaving home. Despite decades of research on these secondary conditions, little is known about how they are associated with being at home.


We used Ecological Momentary Assessment data to examine within subject fluctuation in these secondary conditions to examine their effect on the likelihood that participants remain at or return home.


Participants (n = 139) were recruited from a population based sampling frame to complete an Ecological Momentary Assessment that queried their location and experience with secondary conditions six times a day for two weeks.


Between subjects secondary condition ratings averaged across time periods indicated that pain and depression were associated with the share of measurement periods that respondents reported being at home. Within subject results indicated that a standard unit increase in pain, fatigue and depression was associated with being home one to two days later. Within day results indicated that increases in pain and fatigue were associated with increased likelihood of being home later, but increases in depression were associated with lower likelihood of being home later.


These results suggest there may be a complicated relationship among these secondary conditions and community participation with effects observed both across and within days. One interpretation suggests that secondary condition severity is tempered by adjusting participation. These results may have implications for intervening on these secondary conditions.