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The Effect of Affective Temperament, Pain Catastrophizing, and Anxiety Sensitivity on Pain Severity in Patients With Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Pilot Study.

OBJECTIVE: The goals of this study were to investigate whether there was a dominant temperament type, and to assess the effect of temperament, pain catastrophizing, and anxiety sensitivity on pain severity, in female patients diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) compared with healthy controls.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study involved 51 patients 18 to 65 years of age who were diagnosed with CPP without a history of psychiatric treatment and 97 healthy volunteer women with sociodemographic characteristics similar to those of the study group. A sociodemographic form prepared by the researchers, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, a temperament scale (Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego-Autoquestionnaire), and a visual analog pain scale (VAS) were completed. The results were compared between the patient and control groups. Multiple regression analyses were performed to examine the predictive effects of temperament characteristics, pain catastrophizing, and anxiety sensitivity on pain severity.

RESULTS: Scores on the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the VAS were statistically significantly higher in the CPP group (P<0.001). The frequency of depressive, cyclothymic, and irritable temperaments was found to be significantly higher in the CPP group (CPP: 7.78±3.32 vs. controls: 6.54±3.19; P=0.027; CPP:10.61±4.41 vs. controls: 8.82±4.21; P=0.017; CPP: 5.22±4.29 vs. controls: 3.75±3.41; P=0.025). According to the model established by temperament traits, anxiety sensitivity, and pain catastrophizing level, pain catastrophizing level explained 11.6% of the variance in pain severity. A 1-unit change in the score for pain catastrophizing level caused a 0.278-point change in the VAS total score (P<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Cyclothymic, depressive, and irritable temperament types that increase the risk of affective disease are more common in patients with CPP. The level of pain catastrophizing in patients with CPP affects their perception of the severity of the pain.

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