Pain catastrophizing in women with chronic pelvic pain and its relationship to pain experience and childhood sexual abuse


Journal Article

© Journal of Reproductive Medicine®, Inc. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of pain catastrophizing to pain experience and a history of childhood sexual abuse in women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) of gynecologic origin. STUDY DESIGN: Crosssectional study of women with CPP (N=273) attending a tertiary care obstetrics and gynecology pain clinic. Subjects completed standardized questionnaires to assess pain intensity, pain interference with daily activity, pain catastrophizing, severity of depressive symptoms, and a history of childhood sexual abuse. RESULTS: Correlational analysis indicated that pain catastrophizing, pain intensity, pain interference and depression scores all shared significant association. Multiple regression analysis indicated that, after controlling for the influence of depressive symptoms on both pain intensity and pain interference, pain catastrophizing significantly predicted both pain outcome measures. After controlling for pain catastrophizing, depressive symptoms were found to significantly influence pain interference but not pain intensity. Of the abuse measures, only women who reported major sexual abuse in childhood were found to endorse more severe pain catastrophizing. CONCLUSION: Pain catastrophizing appears to be an important variable in understanding the pain experience of women with chronic pelvic pain. Moreover, the presence of a history of major sexual abuse in childhood may be an additional risk factor for pain catastrophizing in this population, contributing to further pain morbidity.

Cited Authors

  • As-Sanie, S; Clevenger, LA; Geisser, ME; Williams, DA; Roth, RS

Published Date

  • December 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 545 - 551

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-7758

Citation Source

  • Scopus