Gender and the relationship between traumatic childhood experiences and pain in adulthood

Unternährer, Irmgard; Minder, Christoph E; Adler, Rolf H (2006). Gender and the relationship between traumatic childhood experiences and pain in adulthood. Swiss medical weekly, 136(39-40), 637-42.. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Gender differences regarding 17 childhood experiences, thought to have traumatising potential (Traumatic Childhood Experiences = TCE), and pain behaviour in adulthood were assessed using a self-administered, anonymously filled-out questionnaire. Patients were consecutively accrued in the offices of practicing physicians. Three research questions were formulated: 1) Are specific TCE reported more frequently in male and female patients with the diagnosis "Pain Associated with Psychological Factors" (PP), compared to patients with "Pain, explained by Organic Processes" (OP), and "Patients with Diseases without Pain" (OD)? 2) Do PP-men and PP-women differ in reporting TCE?; 3) Are specific TCE correlated with Pain Duration, -Intensity and Number of Operations? RESULTS: 1). TCE occurred more frequently in PP-men and PP-women compared to OP- and OD-patients. 2). The PP-women reported much more TCE-items than the PP-men. 3). Duration and Intensity of adult pain associated with psychological factors correlated with certain TCE-items. CONCLUSIONS: The three research questions can be answered by "yes". In patients with pain which has been impossible to diagnose and/or has resisted conventional forms of therapy, TCE (verbal, physical and sexually abusive) have to be looked for, because they often explain adult pain. Unnecessary examinations and surgery can be avoided and therapies can be tailored for the individual patient.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Minder, Christoph Erwin






EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:15

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 3314)

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