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Psychol Trauma. 2011 Jun;3(2):101-108.

A different kind of co-morbidity: Understanding posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Memphis.


Many traumatic events leave lingering physical injuries and chronic pain in their wake, in addition to trauma-related psychopathology. In this review, we provide an overview of developments in the recent literature on co-morbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. Starting with the conceptual models presented by Sharp and Harvey (2001) and Asmundson, Coons, Taylor, and Klatz (2002), this review summarizes newer studies that examine prevalence of these co-morbid conditions. Additionally, we present an updated synthesis of research on factors that may maintain both chronic physical pain and PTSD in trauma survivors. Consideration of the impact of this co-morbidity on psychosocial assessment and treatment also is discussed, with particular attention to issues that warrant additional research.

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