History of trauma common in women with chronic pelvic pain

April 19, 2007

Abuse history, other major trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder are reported commonly in women with chronic pelvic pain, suggesting the importance of screening for post-traumatic stress disorder in these women, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abuse history, other major trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder are reported commonly in women with chronic pelvic pain, suggesting the importance of screening for post-traumatic stress disorder in these women, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After administering a questionnaire to 713 consecutive women seen in a referral-based pelvic pain clinic, Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, along with colleagues in the departments of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology, found that 46.8% reported having either a sexual or physical abuse history. Nearly one-third (31.3%) had a positive screen for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Using regression and path analysis, controlling for demographic variables, they also found that a trauma history was associated with worse daily physical functioning due to poor health (p<.001), more medical symptoms (p<.001), more lifetime surgeries (p<.001), more days spent in bed (p<.001), and more dysfunction due to pain (p<.001).

Furthermore, a positive screen for post-traumatic stress disorder was highly related to most measures of poor health status (p<.001) and somewhat explained the trauma-related poor health status (Obstet Gynecol 2007; 109:902-8).