Photo of Teresa Bigand gesturing to her research poster
Teresa Bigand describes her research at the Inland Northwest Research Symposium.

Research spotlight: Teresa Bigand, “Examining Risk for Overweight Status Among Adults with Chronic Pain

Doctoral student Teresa Bigand’s research concludes that being overweight significantly increases an adult’s odds of suffering chronic pain. In fact, the higher a person’s body mass index (BMI), the greater their likelihood of having multiple chronic pain conditions, she says.

So which comes first, the pain or the weight?

“One study seems to suggest that the weight comes first,” she said. “That’s more exciting for me, because if we can get people to get their weight under control, we can control two different disease processes at once.”

Bigand, who entered the WSU College of Nursing PhD program in 2016, is collecting data for analysis and hopes eventually to be able to identify factors that correlate with pain intensity and overweight status – sleep patterns, for example, or depression.

The former psychiatric and medical-surgical nurse is teaching at the WSU College of Nursing, and will present her findings at the Washington State Nursing Association convention in May, as well as a national nursing conference in September. Bigand also recently received a scholarship from the Inland Empire Nurses Association to support her work.