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Clin J Pain. 2008 Jun;24(5):406-14. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181633fc5.

Pain, catastrophizing, and depressive symptomatology in eating disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. jwilder3@jhmi.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Though eating disorders (EDs) are associated with numerous physiologic complications, very little research has examined subjective reports of pain and pain-related risk factors in patients with EDs.

OBJECTIVES:

The present study aimed to examine the relationship between ED symptomatology and pain-related variables, including pain intensity, pain location, and catastrophizing. Another aim was to compare women with EDs with women with varying degrees of pain on both pain intensity and pain-related catastrophizing. Further, we aimed to evaluate associations among depressive symptomatology, catastrophizing, and pain intensity in patients with EDs.

METHODS:

Seventy women with EDs and 422 other women, ranging from healthy controls to those with a pain syndrome (migraine headaches, temporomandibular disorders, or back pain), participated in this study and completed self-report measures of pain, catastrophizing, and depressive symptomatology.

RESULTS:

Neither ED diagnosis (anorexia nervosa vs. bulimia) nor behavioral subtype (binge-purging subtype vs. restricting) was associated with location of pain, pain intensity, or pain-related catastrophizing in women with EDs, who, on average, reported pain that was mild and less intense than women with painful conditions. However, a substantial subset of patients with EDs (36%), many of whom had clinically significant Beck Depression Inventory scores, reported moderate to severe pain. Results of a regression analysis showed that depression, not catastrophizing, was associated with pain intensity ratings in patients with EDs.

DISCUSSION:

Depression and pain are intimately related in EDs. Future investigations should characterize patients who present with elevated pain and examine the relationship between pain, psychologic factors, and treatment outcome.

PMID:
18496305
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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