Differences in abdominal pain and sensory processing between adolescent male and females
Dhole, Yashoda Vikas
MetadataShow full item record
OBJECTIVES: The present study aims to collect data on the pain and sensory perception of both male and female healthy individuals. Although the overarching project has been testing female controls for longer, males have been added to the protocol with the goal of expanding our understanding pain norms. This study compares pain and sensation perception between genders and looks at psychosocial factors that may cause differences between the two populations. METHODS: The protocol for this study is divided into quantitative sensory testing (QST) and questionnaires. QST is a non-invasive procedure that is used to study somatosensory functioning in individuals. This study specifically utilizes a QST battery to understand sensation and pain caused by mechanical and thermal stimuli. The deltoid and hand are used as control regions and the abdomen is the experimental area. Additionally, the Health Screening Form, Pain Rating Questionnaire, Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire, Pain Catastrophizing Scale questionnaire, and 36-item Short Form Survey Instrument are all used to gather information on participants’ medical history, mental status, and other psychosocial factors that may affect pain and sensory processing. Data collected from this protocol is then analyzed on SPSS through descriptive statistics and one-way analyses of variance. RESULTS: Throughout the protocol, there are only three values that are significantly different between the male and female control populations: the thermal sensory threshold of cold on the hand, thermal sensory threshold for heat on the hand, and pressure pain threshold on the hand. The p-values for these are 0.001, 0.013, and 0.044 respectively. Additionally, the abdomen is slightly more sensitive than the control site for certain QST measures like the pain threshold for cold temperatures. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of significant variance between genders for the majority of data points shows that both male and female healthy control perceive pain and sensation similarly. Although there may be some differences in anatomy and development, there are no distinct differences in the overall experience of these phenomena. Although these results suggest that gender does not play a significant role in pain and sensory perception, it is important to continue expanding the database in order to find more conclusive results.