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Pain sensitivity

What is pain sensitivity?

Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage” and pain is perceived as both a sensory and emotional experience. There is an important distinction between the body’s responses to pain (nociception) and the subjective experience of pain. Measured outcomes of pain perception include pain reactivity, sensory threshold, pain threshold, and pain tolerance, as well as self-reporting of the pain experience.

What is the evidence for pain sensitivity?

Moderate quality evidence suggests schizophrenia is associated with a significantly reduced pain response following nociceptive stimuli in several modalities that is unrelated to outcome measure, modality, medication status, or disease state. Physiological responses to nociceptive stimuli were also altered. Moderate quality evidence suggests no differences in rates of clinically relevant pain between people with schizophrenia and people without schizophrenia. Moderate to low quality evidence suggests the prevalence rate of clinically relevant pain in patients with schizophrenia is 34.7% and clinically relevant headache is 29.9%.


April 2016

Page last updated: 2:48  5 September 2017

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