Opioid Abuse in the NFL
Improving quality of life among NFL veterans


With over 60% of former NFL athletes reporting moderate to severe pain intensity in retirement, individuals in this population are at risk of reporting greater depressive symptoms, opioid use, and lower HRQOL compared to the general population. Though previous studies have examined the influence of pain on depressive symptoms and opioid use among NFL retirees, these investigations have been limited by examining the physical aspects of pain (i.e., intensity), and have not accounted for the psychological dimensions of pain perception. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to examine the association between psychological pain dimensions and opioid use, depressive symptoms, and HRQOL. Delineating between the unique effects of different aspects of pain (i.e., intensity, catastrophizing, interference, or acceptance) on opioid use, depressive symptoms, and HRQOL may help to inform effective interventions among NFL retirees. Consequently, the current study may improve the quality of life in NFL retirees by elucidating salient, treatable correlates of these factors.

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