Do men and women differ in their response to interdisciplinary chronic pain management?

Edmund Keogh, L M McCracken, C Eccleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (SciVal)


Women report more pain than men. It also seems that gender may moderate responses to pharmacological agents used to combat pain, suggesting that men and women differ in treatment efficacy. Recent research suggests that gender differences may also exist in response to interdisciplinary pain management interventions. We, therefore, report data from a treatment-outcome program at a UK Pain Management Unit. The sample consisted of 98 chronic pain patients (33 males; 65 females) who completed a series of measures relating to pain and distress at three different time points: immediately prior, on completion, and 3 months following an interdisciplinary pain management intervention. The pain management intervention consisted of a 3- or 4-week residential program that aimed to enhance daily functioning, and which involved physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a nurse, physicians, and clinical psychologists. Analyses revealed that the pain management intervention produced improvements in a range of domains Of Outcome for both men and women, and that such effects were sustained at 3 months following treatment. However, although both men and women exhibited significant post-treatment reduction in measures of current pain intensity and with one measure of pain-related distress, at 3 months following treatment men showed similar reductions as at post-treatment, whereas for women there were no significant differences from pre-treatment scores. This suggests that gender may play a role in reports of pain and distress following interdisciplinary chronic pain management. However, the current results are different from those previously reported. We discuss potential reasons for such differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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