Couples’ Daily Lives Study seeking participants

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The Couples’ Daily Lives Study is recruiting participants for a new research study conducted by Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging and Penn State Health. The study is designed to learn more about the daily experiences of adults aged 65 or older with chronic back pain and their partners.

Lynn Martire, principal investigator and professor of human development and family studies, said, “Over half of adults 65 years and older experience pain that they describe as bothersome and the back is the most common site of the pain. What’s more, the prevalence of back pain is growing, as evidenced by the recent three-fold increase in treatment of chronic lower back pain in the Medicare population. As the spouse or partner is often a key source of support and assistance, examining the effects of patients’ pain experiences on spouses and their relationship will help us better understand the longer-term outcomes for both partners.”

To participate in the study, adults aged 65 and older must have experienced moderate or severe back pain for at least three months, be married or in a long-term relationship and living with their spouse or partner, who will also be asked to participate in the study. In addition, participants must not work more than 20 hours per week outside of the home.

Study participation is fully remote and no in-person visits are required. Participants and spouses/partners will be video-interviewed via a provided tablet computer every six months for two years. In addition, the participant and spouse will complete daily surveys on the tablet twice a day for 30 days following the initial video interview. Interviews and surveys will focus on physical symptoms, feelings, activities, and interactions. The study participant and their spouse or partner will be compensated $295 each for completing all aspects of the study.

Interested individuals should contact the study at 814-863-1519 or to complete an initial screening to confirm eligibility. For more information, visit the Couples’ Daily Lives Study website.

Last Updated August 23, 2021