OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to investigate to what extent general psychopathology is associated with subjective experience of pain in psychiatric outpatients without comorbidity with severe physical diagnosis and whether there are any differences in the experience of pain between genders or diagnoses. METHOD: Participants were 575 consecutive outpatients affected by mood disorder or anxiety disorder. Patients completed the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI) and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised. RESULTS: Women had higher mean scores on the Global Severity Index (1.52±0.76 vs. 1.33±0.79), higher perception of negative responses from others (1.84±1.59 vs. 1.46±1.35) and higher perception of pain severity (3.31±1.73 vs. 2.88±1.63) than men. They also reported higher mean scores on the WHYMPI's General Activity (2.14±0.98 vs. 1.93±0.95) and Household Chores (3.64±1.75 vs. 2.27±1.58) and lower mean scores on the Outdoor Work (1.24±1.26 vs. 1.87±1.51) dimension than men. Higher pain severity, more negative responses from others and higher household chores are predictors of higher psychopathology, while the general level of activity may be considered as a protective factor. CONCLUSIONS: Pain and its subjective experience play a central role in psychiatric disorders, and it is a great burden for patients and caregivers. Clinicians should pay more attention to recognize and adequately treat painful symptoms in patients with anxiety and depressive disorder
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