Psychosocial Concomitants of Persistent Pain Among Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries1 Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright © 1991 by Andover Medical Publishers, Inc. Although many persons with spinal cord injuries report problems with persistent, recurrent pain, very little empirical research has examined this issue. The impact of painful conditions on rehabilitation and subsequent adjustment has yet to be empirically clarified. Two studies are reported which (1) investigate differences between persons with and without persistent pain on measures of depression and psychosocial impairment, and (2) examine possible differences in the degree of pain-related suffering between persons with paraplegia and quadriplegia. Results from the first study demonstrate that pain is associated with more depressive behaviors and greater psychosocial impairment regardless oJ the time since the onset of injury. in the second study, ratings of sensory and affective pain intensities were obtained from persons with paraplegia and quadriplegia. Results indicated that persons with paraplegia displayed more pain-related suffering than persons with quadriplegia for equal intensities of pain sensation. Recommendations for theoretical and clinical considerations in spinal cord injury rehabilitation are provided.

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., & Harkins, S. W.

citation count

  • 19

publication date

  • November 1991