Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, pain, and perceived life control: Associations with psychosocial and physical functioning


The symptoms of PTSD and pain frequently co-occur following a traumatic event; however, very little is known about how these two conditions are associated with physical and psychosocial functioning. The current study intended to first examine the differential association of co-occurring pain complaints and PTSD symptoms with disability in the domains of psychosocial and physical functioning, and second, to test whether perceived life control is a mediator of these relationships. All participants experienced a motor vehicle accident (MVA) and reported pain due to accident-related injuries (n=183). Structural equation modeling was used to develop two models hypothesizing a relationship between PTSD symptomatology, pain severity, and perceived life control. Separate models were constructed for psychosocial and physical functioning, based on the hypothesis that pain and PTSD would be differentially related to disability in these two domains. Results suggested that more severe PTSD symptoms and greater pain complaints were related to psychosocial impairment, however, only pain was significantly related to impairment in physical functioning. Perceptions of life control were shown to further explain these interrelationships. © 2005 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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