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NCJ Number: 164863 Find in a Library
Title: Childhood Abuse and Chronic Pain: Observations From Clinical Practice
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1996)  Pages:599-608
Author(s): P M Trief
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 10
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a hypothesis developed from clinical practice regarding the possible link between chronic pain and childhood abuse.
Abstract: Several studies have suggested a relationship between chronic pain and a history of childhood sexual abuse. Psychological theories of somatization and dissociation have been proposed to explain these findings. Somatization theory posits that individuals who have been abused experience the consequent psychological distress somatically, thus developing multiple physical symptoms. In support of these theories, studies have found that both rates of somatization and histories of childhood sexual and physical abuse are higher in women with chronic pelvic pain than in pain-free controls. The author's work with hundreds of patients with chronic back pain has suggested a conceptual hypothesis relevant to some patients that is based on a more psychophysiological framework than on a psychodynamic one. This theory suggests that for some patients with chronic pain who also have a history of childhood abuse, the disturbed sense of self that develops in response to the abuse may impact on the ways the patient respond to the organically based physical sensations experienced following an injury. A case history example is presented in this article to support this theory. The article concludes with a discussion of the use of psychotherapy to rehabilitate the abused patient with the symptom of chronic pain. 23 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations
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