Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pain and anxiety

People with anxiety problems often report physical pain as well. People with an anxiety problem are two to three times more likely to have a painful condition than others without an anxiety problem and among people with chronic back or neck pain the odds of having an anxiety disorder are also two to three times higher than for those without chronic pain. A study of 191 people by researchers in Pittsburgh measured:

  • the severity of people's anxiety
  • how much pain interfered with their daily life
  • their quality of life
  • how much they used health services
  • their employment status

at the start of the study and 2,4,8 and 12 months after starting treatment. Those people who reported that pain was interfering with their daily lives to a greater extent than other participants at the start of the study had more severe anxiety and missed more days at work. After 12 months high pain interference was associated with a lower likelihood of responding to anxiety treatment and higher use of health services.

Teh, Carrie Farmer ... [et al] - Pain interference impacts response to treatment for anxiety disorders Depression and Anxiety March 2009, 26(3), 222-228

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