Volume 51 Number 8, 2014
Pages 1189 — 1202
Abstract — Pain complaints are highly prevalent among military servicemembers and Veterans of the recent combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The high comorbidity of pain with conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) underscores the importance of a greater understanding of factors associated with complex polytraumatic injuries among military personnel. The present study aimed to identify correlates of current pain among 201 U.S. military personnel who reported at least one blast experience during combat deployment (age [mean +/– standard deviation]: 27.20 +/– 7.58 yr). Theoretically derived subsets of variables were analyzed in successive hierarchical regression models to determine correlates of self-reported pain symptoms. Preliminary models evaluated demographic features, medical and injury characteristics (e.g., TBI classification), psychosocial history (e.g., trauma exposure), and psychiatric variables. A final model was then derived, in which older age, possible or probable mild TBI, depression symptoms, and PTSD re-experiencing symptoms emerged as significant correlates of pain. The findings further the understanding of polytrauma symptoms among military personnel by identifying specific patient characteristics and comorbidity patterns related to pain complaints. Increased awareness of demographic, psychiatric, or medical factors implicated in pain will enhance comprehensive clinical assessment and intervention efforts.
Key words: blast exposure, combat, depression, military, OIF/OEF/OND, pain, polytrauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, trauma, traumatic brain injury.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, January 14, 2015 1:53 PM