Date of Completion

2018

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Psychological Science

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Price

Second Advisor

Dr. Bryan Ballif

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Toufexis

Keywords

Pain, PTSD, Traumatic Injury, Growth Mixture Modeling

Abstract

Exposure to potentially traumatic events is fairly common among US adults, yet only a small fraction develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unclear, however, why some individuals develop PTSD and others do not. Higher pain after a traumatic injury has been associated with higher PTSD symptomology and may be a risk factor for developing PTSD. However, few studies have examined symptoms during the period immediately after a trauma to determine how they relate to PTSD outcome. The goal of this study was to identify trajectories of pain throughout the first month after a traumatic injury and examine their relation to PTSD symptoms at 1 month. A sample of (n = 88) individuals who had experienced a traumatic injury assessed their pain through daily mobile assessments for the first month after injury. Daily mobile assessments consisted of self-report surveys sent to the participants’ mobile device. A follow-up interview was conducted at 1 month after injury to assess PTSD symptomology. Using growth mixture modeling, three trajectories of pain were identified: low pain, decreasing pain, and persistent high pain. Membership to the low pain group was associated with lower PTSD, depression and disability symptoms at 1 month after injury. Membership to the high pain group was associated with higher levels of PTSD, depression and disability symptoms at 1 month. These results demonstrate that there are distinct trajectories of pain after a traumatic injury and these trajectories may relate to later symptoms of psychopathology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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