In the June 2009 Supplemental issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, in Poster Abstract 695, Vol. 33, No. 6, Supplement p. 184A, the analyses of the abstract were incorrectly interpreted. The corrected abstract can be found below. The authors apologize for this error.
The Relationship between Alcohol and PTSD Screens on Reported Pain Severity in Veterans in Primary Care
Allison K. Labbe, Marketa Krenek, Jennifer S. Funderburk, Stephen A. Maisto, Kevin S. Masters
Patients are annually screened for alcohol use problems and symptoms of posttraumatic stress in all Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between these health screens and reported levels of pain.
Data were obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs electronic medical database on 9,220 patients with a primary care encounter between January 1st and June 30th, 2005. Demographic variables and health screen outcomes were entered into a 3-level hierarchical regression analysis to test the effects of the variables and their interactions on predicting reported pain scores.
In the initial model, analyses found that younger age predicted higher reported levels of pain (p<0.0001). When the health screens were added to the model, it was found that screening positive on the screen for posttraumatic stress predicted higher levels of reported pain (p<0.0001); however, scoring positive the alcohol use screen did not predict pain scores (p=0.29; change in R2=0.026, p<0.0001). In the final model, a significant interaction was found between scoring positive on the posttraumatic stress screen and the alcohol use screen predicting higher levels of reported pain (change in R2=0.002, p=0.003).
Results of the analyses indicated that individuals who screened positive on the posttraumatic stress screen but negative on the alcohol use screen reported higher levels of pain than individuals who screened positive on the posttraumatic stress screen and positive on the alcohol use screen. Also, results indicated that individuals who screened negative on the posttraumatic stress screen, regardless of screening positive or negative on the alcohol use screen, reported similar levels of pain.
At-risk alcohol use, symptoms of posttraumatic stress, and pain are common issues for veterans; however, little is known about the relationship among them. This study helps to highlight the complex relationship among these variables and how the report of pain may extend beyond physical pain.