iRace, Substance Use

Zach Mannes defends dissertation

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iRACER Zach Mannes recently defended his dissertation proposal titled “The Association Between Psychological Pain Dimensions, Opioid Use, Depressive Symptoms, and Health Related Quality of Life Among Retired National Football League (NFL) Athletes.” Zach’s proposal will seek to 1) contextualize factors related to pain intensity, psychological pain dimensions, and opioid use, 2) investigate the association between physical and psychological dimensions of pain and depressive symptoms among retired NFL players, and 3) examine the association between current pain intensity, psychological pain dimensions, and health related quality of life. 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. Delineating between the unique effects of different aspects of pain (i.e. intensity, catastrophizing, interference, and 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.