To examine the effect of abuse history, other major trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on medical symptoms and health-related daily functioning in women with chronic pelvic pain.
We administered a questionnaire to 713 consecutive women seen in a referral-based pelvic pain clinic.
We found that 46.8% reported having either a sexual or physical abuse history. A total of 31.3% had a positive screen for PTSD. Using regression and path analysis, controlling for demographic variables, we found that a trauma history was associated with worse daily physical functioning due to poor health (P<.001), more medical symptoms (P<.001), more lifetime surgeries (P<.001), more days spent in bed (P<.001), and more dysfunction due to pain (P<.001). Furthermore, a positive screen for PTSD was highly related to most measures of poor health status (P<.001) and somewhat explained the trauma-related poor health status.
The association of trauma with poor health may be due in part to the development of PTSD resulting from trauma. These findings demonstrate the importance of screening for trauma and PTSD in women with chronic pelvic pain.
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