Predicting posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and pain intensity following severe injury: The role of catastrophizing

Jessica Carty, Meaghan O'Donnell, Lynette Evans, Nikolaos Kazantzis, Mark Creamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: A number of theories have proposed possible mechanisms that may explain the high rates of comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and persistent pain; however, there has been limited research investigating these factors.

Objective: The present study sought to prospectively examine whether catastrophizing predicted the development of PTSD symptoms and persistent pain following physical injury.

Design: Participants (N = 208) completed measures of PTSD symptomatology, pain intensity and catastrophizing during hospitalization following severe injury, and 3 and 12 months postinjury. Cross-lagged path analysis explored the longitudinal relationship between these variables.

Results: Acute catastrophizing significantly predicted PTSD symptoms but not pain intensity 3 months postinjury. In turn, 3-month catastrophizing predicted pain intensity, but not PTSD symptoms 12 months postinjury. Indirect relations were also found between acute catastrophizing and 12-month PTSD symptoms and pain intensity. Relations were mediated via 3-month PTSD symptoms and 3-month catastrophizing, respectively. Acute symptoms did not predict 3-month catastrophizing and catastrophizing did not fully account for the relationship between PTSD symptoms and pain intensity.

Conclusions: Findings partially support theories that propose a role for catastrophizing processes in understanding vulnerability to pain and posttrauma symptomatology and, thus, a possible mechanism for comorbidity between these conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5652
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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abstract = "Background: A number of theories have proposed possible mechanisms that may explain the high rates of comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and persistent pain; however, there has been limited research investigating these factors.Objective: The present study sought to prospectively examine whether catastrophizing predicted the development of PTSD symptoms and persistent pain following physical injury.Design: Participants (N = 208) completed measures of PTSD symptomatology, pain intensity and catastrophizing during hospitalization following severe injury, and 3 and 12 months postinjury. Cross-lagged path analysis explored the longitudinal relationship between these variables.Results: Acute catastrophizing significantly predicted PTSD symptoms but not pain intensity 3 months postinjury. In turn, 3-month catastrophizing predicted pain intensity, but not PTSD symptoms 12 months postinjury. Indirect relations were also found between acute catastrophizing and 12-month PTSD symptoms and pain intensity. Relations were mediated via 3-month PTSD symptoms and 3-month catastrophizing, respectively. Acute symptoms did not predict 3-month catastrophizing and catastrophizing did not fully account for the relationship between PTSD symptoms and pain intensity.Conclusions: Findings partially support theories that propose a role for catastrophizing processes in understanding vulnerability to pain and posttrauma symptomatology and, thus, a possible mechanism for comorbidity between these conditions.",
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Predicting posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and pain intensity following severe injury : The role of catastrophizing. / Carty, Jessica; O'Donnell, Meaghan; Evans, Lynette; Kazantzis, Nikolaos; Creamer, Mark.

In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology, Vol. 2, No. 1, 5652, 29.04.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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