Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Author ORCID Identifier

Mijung Park: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0528-2142

Deborah L. Huang https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2156-920X

Corresponding Author

Mijung Park


Purpose: Pain and mood disorder frequently coexist. Yet, for Asian Americans (AAs), scant information about pain and mood disorder is available. Our aims were to compare (1) the rates of pain and mood disorders and (2) the magnitude of associations between pain and mood disorders between AAs and European Americans (EAs), and across different Asian subgroups.

Methods: An analytical data was constructed from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES), a representative sample of community-residing U.S. adults (n=9,871). Pain morbidity were assessed by self-report. Mood disorders, including major depression and anxiety disorders, were assessed using the diagnostic interview. Analysis included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression modeling. All analyses were weighted to approximate the U.S. populations, and controlled for sociodemographic and immigration characteristics.

Results: Greater proportion of EAs, compared to AAs, endorsed lifetime pain (56.8% vs. 35.8%). Having life pain disorders elevated the likelihood of lifetime mood disorder by more than 2-folds (WAOR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.77, 2.55). Having pain disorders over the past 12-months elevated the likelihood of mood disorder in the same time period by more than 3-folds (WAOR: 3.29, 95% CI 2.02, 5.37) among AAs. The magnitude of the association between pain and psychiatric morbidity were greater in Vietnamese Americans compared to other AAs and EAs.

Discussion: The conventional belief that rates of pain and mood disorders are greater in AAs than EAs may need to be further examined. Vietnamese Americans may be particularly vulnerable for experience comorbid pain and mood disorders.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The authors declare that they have no financial interest or benefits arising from the direct applications of this study.


This work was supported by the National Institute of Health (K01NR0515101 and P30 MH90333).