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Post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety in patients with injury-related chronic pain: A pilot study

Authors Åhman S, Stålnacke B

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:4(6) Pages 1245—1249


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Sofia Åhman, Britt-Marie Stålnacke

Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Sweden

Aim: To investigate, in patients with injury-related chronic pain, pain intensity, levels of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depressions.

Methods: One hundred and sixty patients aged 17–62 years, admitted for assessment to the Pain Rehabilitation Clinic at the Umeå University Hospital, Umeå Sweden, for chronic pain caused by an injury, answered a set of questionnaires to assess post-traumatic stress (Impact of Event Scale [IES]), pain intensity (VAS), depression, and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HAD]).

Results: Moderate to severe post-traumatic stress was reported by 48.1% of the patients. Possible–probable anxiety on the HAD was scored by 44.5% and possible–probable depression by 45.2%. Pain intensity (VAS) was significantly correlated to post-traumatic stress (r = 0.183, p = 0.022), the HAD-scores anxiety (r = 0.186, p = 0.0021), and depression (r = 0.252, p = 0.002). No statistically significant differences were found between genders for post-traumatic stress, pain intensity, anxiety, or depression. Participants with moderate to severe stress reaction reported statistically significant higher anxiety scores on the HAD (p = 0.030) in comparison with patients with mild stress.

Conclusion: The findings of relationships between pain intensity, post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety may have implications for clinicians and underline the importance of considering all these factors when managing patients with injury-related chronic pain.

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, chronic pain

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