I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Pediatric, Psychology, Translational

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Abdominal/Pelvic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 May 05



Mediators of the association between childhood trauma and pain sensitivity in adulthood: a Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain Research Network analysis.


Pierce J, Harte SE, Afari N, Bradley CS, Griffith JW, Kim J, Lutgendorf S, Naliboff BD, Rodriguez LV, Taple BJ, Williams D, Harris RE, Schrepf A


Urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) is a complex, debilitating condition in which patients often report nonpelvic pain in addition to localized pelvic pain. Understanding differential predictors of pelvic pain only vs widespread pain may provide novel pathways for intervention. This study leveraged baseline data from the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Research Network’s Symptom Pattern Study to investigate the impact of childhood sexual and nonsexual violent trauma on pelvic and nonpelvic pain sensitivity among adult patients with UCPPS, as well as potential mediators of this association. Study participants who met inclusion criteria for UCPPS completed questionnaires assessing childhood and recent trauma, affective distress, cognitive dysfunction, and generalized sensory sensitivity. Experimental pain sensitivity was also evaluated using standardized pressure pain applied to the pubic region and the arm. Bivariate analyses showed that childhood violent trauma was associated with more nonviolent childhood trauma, more recent trauma, poorer adult functioning, and greater pain sensitivity at the pubic region, but not pain sensitivity at the arm. Path analysis suggested that childhood violent trauma was indirectly associated with pain sensitivity at both sites and that this indirect association was primarily mediated by generalized sensory sensitivity. More experiences of recent trauma also contributed to these indirect effects. The findings suggest that, among participants with UCPPS, childhood violent trauma may be associated with heightened pain sensitivity to the extent that trauma history is associated with a subsequent increase in generalized sensory sensitivity.