Research report: PDF OnlyAn epidemiologic comparison of pain complaintsVon Korff, Michael∗; Dworkin, Samuel F.∗∗,∗∗∗; Le Resche, Linda∗∗; Kruger, Andrea∗Author Information ∗Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Seattle, WAU.S.A. ∗∗Department of Oral Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WAU.S.A. ∗∗∗Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WAU.S.A. Correspondence to: Dr. Michael Von Korff, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, 521 Wall St., Seattle, WA 98121, U.S.A. (Received 13 August 1987; accepted 5 October 1987.) ☆ Parts of this paper were presented at the Vth World Congress on Pain, Hamburg, F.R.G. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Dental Research: Epidemiologic Studies of Temporomandibular Disorders; Grant No. NIDR DE 07917. Pain: February 1988 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 173-183 doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(88)90066-8 Buy Metrics Abstract A survey concerning common pain conditions and psychological distress was carried out among a probability sample of the adult enrollees of a large health maintenance organization in Seattle. The prevalence of pain in the prior six months was 41% for back pain; 26% for headache; 17% for abdominal pain; 12% for chest pain; and 12% for facial pain. Headache, abdominal and facial pain were less prevalent among older persons and more prevalent among females. We examined the temporal dimensions of these pain conditions, as well as intensity, treatment seeking, and activity limitation. The pain conditions were typically long standing, recurrent, of mild to moderate intensity, and usually did not limit activities. However, depending on the pain condition, 9–40% reported one or more days in the prior six months when they were unable to carry out their usual activities due to the pain problem. On average, persons with a pain condition had higher levels of anxiety, depression, and non-pain somatic symptoms as measured by the scales of the Symptom Checklist (SCL); poorer self-rating of health status; and more family stress compared to persons without a pain condition. Of these alternative measures of distress, the SCL somatization scale had the strongest independent association with pain. The increments in measures of anxiety, depression, and family stress with the presence of pain were greatest among persons with higher levels of non-pain somatic symptoms. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.