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Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jun 27

J Pain


Profiles of trauma exposure type and their associations to pain-related outcomes among adults with chronic pain: A two-year longitudinal study.


Ravyts SG, Winsick N, Noel M, Wegener ST, Campbell CM, Mun CJ, Aaron RV


Individuals with chronic pain report disproportionally higher rates of trauma; yet, it is unclear whether different types of trauma (e.g., sexual, accidental trauma) are associated with worse pain outcomes. The present study sought to: 1) identify subgroups of people with chronic pain based on trauma type; and 2) determine whether subgroups differ in terms of pain characteristics over a two-year period. Individuals with chronic pain (N = 1,451) participated in an online study and completed self-report questionnaires at baseline, 3-, 12- and 24-month follow-up. Trauma was assessed via the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5. Pain intensity and interference were measured via the Brief Pain Inventory and pain distribution was evaluated using the Widespread Pain Index. Latent class analyses produced a three-class solution consisting of individuals with high and diverse trauma (16.3%), high sexual trauma (18.4%), and low/accidental trauma (57.1%) with the rest of the sample endorsing no trauma history (8.2%). After controlling for key demographic variables and baseline outcome levels, individuals in the high and diverse trauma group endorsed higher levels of pain severity and interference at the 3 and 12-month follow-ups compared to the group with no trauma (p<.01). Additionally, relative to the no trauma group, individuals in the high sexual trauma group reported higher levels of pain interference and more widespread pain at the 3-month follow-up (p<.05). Findings underscore the importance of screening for trauma and suggest that the type and variety of trauma experienced may be relevant to pain-related outcomes. PERSPECTIVE: This article highlights how an individual’s unique trauma history may be related to their current pain experience. Knowledge of the type and frequency of past trauma may have relevant clinical implications for the treatment of chronic pain.