Gender differences in PTSD severity and pain outcomes: Baseline results from the LAMP trial

Jessica K. Friedman, Brent C. Taylor, Emily Hagel Campbell, Kelli Allen, Ann Bangerter, Mariah Branson, Gert Bronfort, Collin Calvert, Lee J.S. Cross, Mary A. Driscoll, Ronni Evans, John E. Ferguson, Alex Haley, Sierra Hennessy, Laura A. Meis, Diana J. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain are highly prevalent comorbid conditions. Veterans dually burdened by PTSD and chronic pain experience more severe outcomes compared to either disorder alone. Few studies have enrolled enough women Veterans to test gender differences in pain outcomes [catastrophizing, intensity, interference] by the severity of PTSD symptoms. Aim Examine gender differences in the association between PTSD symptoms and pain outcomes among Veterans enrolled in a chronic pain clinical trial. Methods Participants were 421 men and 386 women Veterans with chronic pain who provided complete data on PTSD symptoms and pain outcomes. We used hierarchical linear regression models to examine gender differences in pain outcomes by PTSD symptoms. Results Adjusted multivariable models indicated that PTSD symptoms were associated with higher levels of pain catastrophizing (0.57, 95% CI [0.51, 0.63]), pain intensity (0.30, 95% CI [0.24, 0.37]), and pain interference (0.46, 95% CI [0.39, 0.52]). No evidence suggesting gender differences in this association were found in either the crude or adjusted models (all interaction p-values<0.05). Conclusion These findings may reflect the underlying mutual maintenance of these conditions whereby the sensation of pain could trigger PTSD symptoms, particularly if the trauma and pain are associated with the same event. Clinical implications and opportunities testing relevant treatments that may benefit both chronic pain and PTSD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0293437
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial


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