Biographical, pain and psychosocial data for a South African sample of chronic pain patients

DOI: 10.1080/22201173.2006.10872440
Author(s): SP WalkerDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, CL OdendaalPain Control Unit, Department of Anaesthesiology, South Africa, KGF EsterhuyseDepartment of Psychology, South Africa


Objective: To gather biographical and pain data for a sample of South African patients visiting a specialist pain control unit. To investigate the role of various psychosocial variables in this sample's chronic pain experience. Subjects and Method: 325 adult outpatients from a chronic pain unit completed a biographical questionnaire, the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory, as well as various supplementary scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2. Diagnostic data were also gathered for the sample. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the sample and t-tests were used to compare the current sample's mean scores on the measuring instruments with those of American normative samples. Results: The South African sample displayed elevated levels of perceived pain-related functional limitations, as well as an increase in the frequency of psychopathology and emotional distress. However, the current sample also reported higher levels of social support and were inclined to be more socially and physically active when compared with individuals in other studies. Conclusion: Specific demographic and diagnostic tendencies appear evident in the current sample. Furthermore, South African chronic pain patients seem to exhibit similar, if not perhaps more pronounced, psychosocial profiles to a comparable American sample. Various suggestions for further research are also made.

Get new issue alerts for Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia