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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