Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 111–115 | Cite as

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in chronic pain patients

  • Timothy J. Sharp


Several of the more common causes of chronic pain include traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents and workrelated incidents. Therefore, it is not unusual for patients presenting with chronic pain to also describe significant levels of distress including post-traumatic symptomatology and, in the more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Throughout the past few decades, the literature relating to chronic pain and PTSD has become progressively more sophisticated, resulting in well-supported theories and treatments for sufferers. However, only a handful of studies have specifically attended to the co-occurrence of these two disorders. This review presents a summary of the literature relating to the two disorders in terms of symptoms, prevalence, and comorbidity. It also briefly describes the main empirically supported psychologic theories of chronic pain and PTSD and briefly reviews the evidence regarding what factors maintain the disorders. Treatment implications and issues for future research are considered.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Sharp
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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