Are Reports of Childhood Abuse Related to the Experience of Chronic Pain in Adulthood?: A Meta-analytic Review of the LiteratureDavis, Debra A MA; Luecken, Linda J PhD; Zautra, Alex J PhDThe Clinical Journal of Pain: September-October 2005 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 398-405 doi: 10.1097/01.ajp.0000149795.08746.31 Special Topic Series Buy Abstract Author InformationAuthors Article MetricsMetrics Background: Recent empirical evidence suggests that childhood abuse may be related to the experience of chronic pain in adulthood. To date, a systematic quantitative review of the literature has not been presented. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to use meta-analytic procedures to evaluate the strength of existing evidence of the association between self-reports of childhood abuse and the experience of chronic pain in adulthood. Methods: Analyses were designed to test the relationship across several relevant criteria with 4 separate meta-analyses. Results: Results of the analyses are as follows: 1) individuals who reported being abused or neglected in childhood also reported more pain symptoms and related conditions than those not abused or neglected in childhood; 2) patients with chronic pain were more likely to report having been abused or neglected in childhood than healthy controls; 3) patients with chronic pain were more likely to report having been abused or neglected in childhood than nonpatients with chronic pain identified from the community; and 4) individuals from the community reporting pain were more likely to report having been abused or neglected than individuals from the community not reporting pain. Conclusion: Results provide evidence that individuals who report abusive or neglectful childhood experiences are at increased risk of experiencing chronic pain in adulthood relative to individuals not reporting abuse or neglect in childhood. From the Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Received for publication October 2, 2004; accepted October 2, 2004. Reprints: Linda J. Luecken, PhD, Box 871104, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1104 (e-mail: Luecken@asu.edu). © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.