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Papers: 23 Apr 2022 - 29 Apr 2022


2022 Apr 08

Children (Basel)



Sensitivity to Pain Traumatization and Its Relationship to the Anxiety-Pain Connection in Youth with Chronic Pain: Implications for Treatment.


Maunder L, Pavlova M, Beveridge JK, Katz J, Salomons TV, Noel M
Children (Basel). 2022 Apr 08; 9(4).
PMID: 35455573.


The bidirectional relationship between anxiety and chronic pain in youth is well-known, but how anxiety contributes to the maintenance of pediatric chronic pain needs to be elucidated. Sensitivity to pain traumatization (SPT), an individual's propensity to develop responses to pain that resemble a traumatic stress response, may contribute to the mutual maintenance of anxiety and pediatric chronic pain. A clinical sample of youth (aged 10-18 years) with chronic pain completed a measure of SPT at baseline and rated their anxiety and pain characteristics for seven consecutive days at baseline and at three-month follow-up. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to model whether SPT moderated the relationship between baseline anxiety and pain intensity, unpleasantness, and interference three months later. SPT significantly moderated the relationship between anxiety and pain intensity. High anxiety youth with high SPT reported increased pain intensity three months later, while high anxiety youth with low SPT did not. High anxiety youth who experience pain as potentially traumatizing are more likely to report higher pain intensity three months later than high-anxiety youth who do not. Future research should examine whether children's propensity to become traumatized by their pain predicts the development of chronic pain and response to intervention.