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Abstract

The relationship between acute stress disorder (ASD), posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD), and chronic pain was investigated in a longitudinal study of injured accident victims (N = 323, 64.7% men). Assessments took place 5 days (T1), 6 (T2) months, and 12 (T3) months postaccident. Relations between pain and posttraumatic stress symptoms were tested by structural equation modeling. Subjects diagnosed with full or subsyndromal PTSD at T2 and at T3 (14 and 19%) reported significantly higher pain intensity. Cross-lagged panel analysis yielded a mutual maintenance of pain intensity and ASD or PTSD symptoms across T2. Across the second half year, PTSD symptoms impacted significantly on pain but not vice versa. Clinicians need to pay careful attention to PTSD symptoms in accident survivors suffering from chronic pain.