A study published in General Hospital Psychiatry evaluated the rates of chronic, noncancer pain conditions in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) System.
Researchers used a cross-sectional design that used administrative data extracted from VHA treatment records of all individuals receiving VHA services in one year (N=751). They evaluated the associations between severe psychiatric disorders, such as, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and chronic pain (arthritis, back pain, chronic pain, migraine, headache, psychogenic and neuropathic pain).
The results revealed that noncancer pain conditions occur in elevated rates among patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The authors suggested that future research could further examine possible barriers to adequate pain treatment among people with serious mental illness, as well as the extent to which chronic pain might impact mental health recovery.
Pain conditions among veterans with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. General Hospital Psychiatry. May 1, 2013