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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 13

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Association of Gender, Painkiller Use, and Experienced Pain with Pain-Related Fear and Anxiety among University Students According to the Fear of Pain Questionnaire-9.


Piwowarczyk P, Kaczmarska A, Kutnik P, Hap A, Chajec J, Myśliwiec U, Czuczwar M, Borys M
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 13; 18(8).
PMID: 33924523.


Anxiety and fear are determinants of acute and chronic pain. Effectively measuring fear associated with pain is critical for identifying individuals' vulnerable to pain. This study aimed to assess fear of pain among students and evaluate factors associated with pain-related fear. We used the Fear of Pain Questionnaire-9 to measure this fear. We searched for factors associated with fear of pain: gender, size of the city where the subjects lived, subject of academic study, year of study, the greatest extent of experienced pain, frequency of painkiller use, presence of chronic or mental illness, and past hospitalization. We enrolled 717 participants. Median fear of minor pain was 5 (4-7) fear of medical pain 7 (5-9), fear of severe pain 10 (8-12), and overall fear of pain 22 (19-26). Fear of pain was associated with gender, frequency of painkiller use, and previously experienced pain intensity. We found a correlation between the greatest pain the participant can remember and fear of minor pain (r = 0.112), fear of medical pain (r = 0.116), and overall fear of pain (r = 0.133). Participants studying medicine had the lowest fear of minor pain while stomatology students had the lowest fear of medical pain. As students advanced in their studies, their fear of medical pain lowered. Addressing fear of pain according to sex of the patient, frequency of painkiller use, and greatest extent of experienced pain could ameliorate medical training and improve the quality of pain management in patients.