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Relationship between traumatic events in childhood & chronic pain - fibromyalgia research

  [ 87 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • January 10, 1999


PURPOSE: The purpose was to examine the relationships between
traumatic events in childhood, such as sexual and physical
abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction, and three types of
chronic pain: facial pain, myofascial pain, and fibromyalgia.
A fourth group, a heterogeneous group of other pain, was used
as a comparison group.

METHOD: Ninety one patients with
chronic pain, age range 20-60, were consecutively recruited
from the outpatient clinics of a rehabilitation hospital and a
general hospital. Patients were given four measures for
completion at evaluation: Childhood History Questionnaire;
Childhood Traumatic Events Scale; McGill Melzack Pain
Questionnaire; Pain Disability Index. Chi- square was used to
test significant differences among four pain groups on sexual,
physical, and verbal abuse; alcoholism; drug dependence;
medications; major upheaval, childhood illness, death of a
family member or friend, and separation or divorce of parents.
Logistic regression was used to predict membership in the four
pain groups.

RESULTS: All pain groups had a history of abuse
exceeding 48%: fibromyalgia, 64.7%; myofascial, 61.9%; facial,
50%; other pain, 48.3%. All groups had a history of family
alcohol dependence exceeding 38%, and a history of drug
dependence ranging from 5.8 to 19.1%. A combined history of
pain, child physical abuse, and alcoholism was prevalent in
12.9 to 35.3%. Logistic regression showed patients who were
female, with an alcoholic parent, using non-narcotic drugs
were more likely to be members of the facial, myofascial, and
fibromyalgia groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Child traumatic events are
significantly related to chronic pain. Since the problem of
child abuse is broader than physical and sexual abuse, health
and rehabilitation agencies must shift from individualized
treatment to interdisciplinary treatment of the family and
patient.

Goldberg RT, Pachas WN, Keith D




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