Central Sensitization and Chronic Pain Personality Profile : Is There New Evidence? A Case-Control Study

Marina Lopez-Ruiz, Andrea Doreste Soler, Jesús Pujol Nuez, Josep Maria Losilla Vidal, Fabiola Ojeda, Laura Blanco Hinojo, Gerard Martínez-Vilavella, Teresa Gutiérrez Rosado, Jordi Monfort, Juan Deus Yela

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Personality traits are relevant for pain perception in persistent pain disorders, although they have not been studied in depth in sensitized and nonsensitized patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Objective: To explain and compare the personality profile of patients with OA, with and without central sensitization (CS), and fibromyalgia (FM). Setting: Participants were selected at the Rheumatology Department in two major hospitals in Spain. Participants: Case-control study where the sample consists of 15 patients with OA and CS (OA-CS), 31 OA without CS (OA-noCS), 47 FM, and 22 controls. We used a rigorous and systematic process that ensured the sample strictly fulfilled all the inclusion/exclusion criteria, so the sample is very well delimited. Primary outcome measures: Personality was assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory of Cloninger. Results: The percentile in harm-avoidance dimension for the FM group is higher compared to OA groups and controls. The most frequent temperamental profiles in patients are cautious, methodical, and explosive. Patients with FM are more likely to report larger scores in harm-avoidance, with an increase in logistic regression adjusted odds ratio (OR) between 4.2% and 70.2%. Conclusions: Harm-avoidance seems to be the most important dimension in personality patients with chronic pain, as previously found. We found no differences between OA groups and between sensitized groups, but there are differences between FM and OA-noCS, so harm-avoidance might be the key to describe personality in patients with CS rather than the presence of prolonged pain, as found in the literature before.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2935
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • central sensitization
  • fibromyalgia
  • osteoarthritis
  • personality


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