Journal article

Symptoms of PTSD Associated With Painful and Nonpainful Vicarious Reactivity Following Amputation

Melita J Giummarra, Bernadette M Fitzgibbon, Jack W Tsao, Stephen J Gibson, Anina N Rich, Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Michael Chou, John L Bradshaw, Aimee L Alphonso, Monica L Tung, Carol A Drastal, Steven Hanling, Paul F Pasquina, Peter G Enticott

Journal of Traumatic Stress | WILEY | Published : 2015


Although the experience of vicarious sensations when observing another in pain have been described postamputation, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We investigated whether vicarious sensations are related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and chronic pain. In Study 1, 236 amputees completed questionnaires about phantom limb phenomena and vicarious sensations to both innocuous and painful sensory experiences of others. There was a 10.2% incidence of vicarious sensations, which was significantly more prevalent in amputees reporting PTSD-like experiences, particularly increased arousal and reexperiencing the event that led to amputation (φ = .16). In Study 2, 63 amputees co..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, Australia)

Awarded by Australian Research Council future fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

Bernadette Fitzgibbon (B.M.F.) and Melita Giummarra (M.J.B.) shared first authorship. This project was supported by a small project grant from Caulfield Hospital, and bridging fellowships awarded to M.J.G. and B.M.F. from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. M.J.G. and B.M.F. are supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, Australia) early career fellowships (APP1036124; APP1070073). Anina N. Rich is supported by an Australian Research Council future fellowship (DP0984494). Peter G. Enticott is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.