Document Type



The higher prevalence of depression in women is coupled with a higher prevalence of pain complaints. Growing evidence suggests that the comorbidity of these conditions is also proportionately higher in women than men. This paper critically reviews the empirical findings relating to gender differences in comorbid pain and depression as well as findings in support of hypothesized etiologic factors that could explain why women may be more susceptible than men to comorbidity. The empirical evidence for biogenic, psychogenic, and sociogenic explanatory models is presented, and an integration of these models is proposed as a guideline to both research and clinical practice. In conclusion, it is argued that gender-differentiated treatment strategies are not clinically indicated at this time.


Comorbidity; Depression in women; Depression; Mental--Sex differences; Mental depression -- Diagnosis; Pain--Psychological aspects


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Copyright Canadian Psychiatric Association, used with permission of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

Publisher Citation

Meana, M. (1998). The meeting of pain and depression: comorbidity in women. Canadian journal of psychiatry, 43, 893-899.

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