Psychological factors in pelvic/urogenital pain: The influence of site of pain versus sex

Academic Article


  • Chronic pelvic pain (CPP), a fairly common gynecological complaint in women, has been associated with multiple psychological sequelae, including depression and somatization. Previous work has compared these patients to gynecological controls and women with headache, but has failed to include male comparison groups with a comparable site of chronic pain. In order to test possible sex and pain site differences, the present study compared 22 women with CPP, 22 men with either penile or testicular pain, 22 women with low back pain and 28 men with low back pain referred for a psychological evaluation as part of multidisciplinary pain treatment. Depression, coping, pain intensity and interference were assessed. Two-way analyses of variance (sex by pain site) were conducted to determine if there were group differences on demographic variables and medical history. Pain duration, age, and pain severity differed among the groups and were entered as covariates in hierarchical regression analyses designed to identify predictors of adjustment and pain coping. Sex and pain site did not contribute independently to the prediction of depressive symptoms. Pain site predicted physical functioning with low back pain patients reporting greater pain-related interference. Similar findings were demonstrated for coping. A variety of pain-coping strategies, including catastrophizing, were more frequently utilized by low back pain patients, regardless of sex. In the present study, pain severity and pain site explained more variance in depressive symptoms, physical functioning, and pain-coping than sex. © 2003 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

  • PAIN  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27714525
  • Author List

  • Heinberg LJ; Fisher BJ; Wesselmann U; Reed J; Haythornthwaite JA
  • Start Page

  • 88
  • End Page

  • 94
  • Volume

  • 108
  • Issue

  • 1-2