Prevalence Comparisons of Somatic and Psychiatric Symptoms Between Community Nonpatients Without Pain, Acute Pain Patients, and Chronic Pain Patients

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Abstract

Objectives.

Somatic/psychiatric symptoms are frequently found in chronic pain patients (CPPs). The objectives of this study were to determine 1) which somatic/psychiatric symptoms are more commonly found in acute pain patients (APPs) and CPPs vs community nonpatients without pain (CNPWPs) and 2) if somatic/psychiatric symptom prevalence differs between APPs and CPPs.

Design.

The above groups were compared statistically for endorsement of 15 symptoms: fatigue, numbness/tingling, dizziness, difficulty opening/closing mouth, muscle weakness, difficulty staying asleep, depression, muscle tightness, nervousness, irritability, memory, falling, nausea, concentration, and headaches.

Results.

After controlling for age, gender, and level of pain, APPs and CPPs had a statistically significantly greater prevalence (at aP< 0.01 level) for 11 and 13 symptoms, respectively, vs CNPWPs. After controlling for age, gender, and level of pain, CPPs had a statistically significantly greater prevalence (at aP< 0.01 level) for eight symptoms vs APPs. Symptoms were highly correlated in both APPs and CPPs.

Conclusions.

CPPs are characterized to a significantly greater extent than comparison groups by somatic/psychiatric symptoms that are highly intercorrelated. This has implications for clinical practice and future research.

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