Fear of severe pain mediates sex differences in pain sensitivity responses to thermal stimuli

Published

Journal Article

The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship of sex and pain-related fear in pain intensity reports to thermal stimuli and whether sex differences in reported pain intensity were mediated by pain-related fear. 177 participants, 124 female (23.5 ± 4.5 years old), filled out a demographic and fear of pain questionnaire (FPQ-III). Experimental pain testing was performed using thermal stimuli applied to the lower extremity. Participants rated the intensity of pain using the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS). Independent t-tests, Sobel's test, and linear regression models were performed to examine the relationships between sex, fear of pain, and pain sensitivity. We found significant sex differences for thermal pain threshold temperatures (t = 2.04, P = 0.04) and suprathreshold pain ratings for 49°C (t = - 2.12, P = 0.04) and 51°C (t = - 2.36, P = 0.02). FPQ-severe score mediated the effect of suprathreshold pain ratings of 49° (t = 2.00, P = 0.05), 51°(t = 2.07, P = 0.04), and pain threshold temperatures (t = - 2.12, P = 0.03). There are differences in the pain sensitivity between sexes, but this difference may be mediated by baseline psychosocial factors such as fear of pain. © 2014 Maggie E. Horn et al.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Horn, ME; Alappattu, MJ; Gay, CW; Bishop, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2014 /

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2090-1550

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2090-1542

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1155/2014/897953

Citation Source

  • Scopus