Examining the Differences in Veterans and Non-Veterans at the Chronic Pain Management Unit
The CPMU consists of both veterans and non-veterans who exhibit a wide range of chronic pain problems. In this study, it is hypothesized that veterans and non-veterans will score better at discharge than at admission, based on expected trends. In addition, due to their combat exposure, it is predicted that veterans will score differently than non-veterans on a variety of pain-related measures. It is predicted that veterans will exhibit more anxiety and fear-related symptoms than non-veterans. Patient information was extracted from the CPMU database in order to obtain demographics, program evaluation scores, and MMPI-2 scores. Fifteen veterans were matched with fifteen non-veterans based on age, gender, time of admission, and pain duration. A two-way ANOVA with repeated measures on one factor was conducted on each of the measures at admission and discharge for veterans and non-veterans. Paired t-tests were used for MMPI-2 scores and discharge only variables to assess any differences between veterans and non-veterans. Intuitively, many of the significant results illustrated that upon discharge, most subjects performed better on measures that were encouraged by multidisciplinary treatment programs. Results also indicated that scores on the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and on both task persistence and seeking social support dimensions of the Chronic Pain Coping Inventory (CPCI) were different for veterans and non-veterans depending on when they completed the questionnaires. Veteran scores were consistent with our hypothesis across measures that detected significant group by session interactions. Further studies need to be conducted to gain a better understanding of the differences between veteran and non-veteran profiles.