Pathways of chronic pain in survivors of intimate partner violence

Judith Wuest, Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Marilyn Merritt-Gray, Piotr Wilk, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Barbara Lent, Colleen Varcoe, Victoria Smye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the roles of lifetime abuse-related injury, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and depressive symptom severity in mediating the effects of severity of assaultive intimate partner violence (IPV), psychological IPV, and child abuse on chronic pain severity in women survivors of IPV. Methods: Structural equation modeling of data from a community sample of 309 women survivors of IPV was used to test partial and full theoretical models of the relationships among the variables of interest. Results: The full model had good fit and accounted for 40.2% of the variance in chronic pain severity. Abuse-related injury, PTSD symptom severity, and depressive symptom severity significantly mediated the relationship between child abuse severity and chronic pain severity, but only abuse-related injury significantly mediated the relationship between assaultive IPV severity and chronic pain severity. Psychological IPV severity was the only abuse variable with significant direct effects on chronic pain severity but had no significant indirect effects. Conclusions: These findings can inform clinical care of women with chronic pain in all areas of healthcare delivery by reinforcing the importance of assessing for a history of child abuse and IPV. Moreover, they highlight the relevance of routinely assessing for abuse-related injury and PTSD and depressive symptom severity when working with women who report chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1665-1674
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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