Background: Chronic pain (CP) and mental disorders are common among active military personnel (AMP) due to their potential exposure to various physical and psychological stressors. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate pain perception and beliefs regarding their pain among AMP suffering from CP using self-reported measures, and to understand the development and persistence of pain in AMP. Methods: Sixty male AMP outpatients suffering CP were included. All participants completed the following forms and questionnaires: Oswestry Disability Index(ODI), Visual Analogue Scale(VAS), Neck Disability Index(NDI), Bournemouth Questionnaire for neck(BQN), International Physical Activity Questionnaire(IPAQ), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Index(HADS), 36-item Short Form Survey(SF-36), Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire(ATQ), and Pain Belief Questionnaire(PBQ). Results: The mean age of the participants was 22.85±3.50 years, the median duration and frequency of pain were 12 months and 14.5 days in a month, respectively. The median of ODI scores was 26; three of patients were evaluated as crippled while 8 patients had severe disability. The HADS and PBQ-psychological scores were high in the patient group. Positive correlations were found between pain frequency and the ODI, VAS, NDI and PBQ-psychological scores. Relationships were also shown between PBQ-psychological and the VAS and ATQ scores. Correlations between ODI scores and ATQ scores were also revealed. Conclusions: Our results suggest that, in addition to the organic basis of pain, there is strong evidence for significant contribution from the psychological characteristics and pain-related beliefs of the patients. Physicians may choose a multi-dimensional perspective in the diagnosis and treatment of pain, especially in patients suffering from CP.
Key words: Chronic pain, pain perception, military personnel.