Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Type of Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
Dr. Matthew Price
Dr. Bryan Ballif
Dr. Donna Toufexis
Pain, PTSD, Traumatic Injury, Growth Mixture Modeling
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.
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Connor, Julie P., "The Influence of Pain on the Development of PTSD Across the Acute Post Trauma Period" (2018). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 239.