Post-traumatic stress disorder in chronic pain patients
Post-traumatic stress disorder is likely underdiagnosed in persons with chronic pain, although a substantial number of patients seen in any pain clinic may suffer from this disorder. The relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain may be overlooked due to the absence of well-defined diagnostic criteria; however, there are a number of psychometric measures and structured interviews that can aid in making a diagnosis. Providing a safe environment in which the patient can express feelings about the traumatic experience should be a strong therapeutic goal when working with patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Further research is needed on prevalence, assessment and intervention of post-traumatic stress disorder in persons with chronic pain.