PTSD: A Predictor of Pain Severity in Fibromyalgia Patients
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Traumatic life events have been frequently observed in chronic pain patients in empirical research. More specifically, fibromyalgia (FM) has been reported to occur more often after a traumatic event. As posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also preceded by a traumatic event and has been associated with chronic pain and FM, the relationship between three variables (traumatic events, pain severity, and PTSD) is evaluated. This study examined data from 26 participants who reported having experienced at least one traumatic event and having been diagnosed with FM by a physician. The TLEQ, BPI, and PCL-C were used as measures for traumatic events, pain severity, and PTSD symptomatology, respectively. The total number of traumatic events (TNTE), number of traumatic events experienced in childhood (NTEC), and number of exceptionally traumatic events (H/H) were not able to individually predict pain severity in the whole group. However, TNTE predicted PCL-C scores and PCL-C scores predicted pain severity. Also, upon splitting the group into subgroups based on when the most traumatic event (MTE) was experienced, both TNTE and PCL-C scores predicted pain severity in the group that experienced their MTE in adulthood.