Unrecognized association of sleep disorders and depression with chronic pelvic pain

South Med J. 1992 Dec;85(12):1181-3. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199212000-00007.


Assessment of cases of chronic pelvic pain presents a challenging problem, and many physicians overlook the association of sleep disorders and depression with such pain. We examined these linkages in our chronic pelvic pain clinic, using a questionnaire that assists in diagnosis and management of these cases. To date, the cases of 72 patients (both physician- and self-referred) with pelvic pain have been evaluated. Of these patients, 51 of 71 (72%) reported sleep disorders, and 37 of 72 (51%) had clinical depression, as determined by the Beck Depression Inventory. After adjustment for a sleep-related item on the Beck scale, these two measures showed a positive correlation of .355 (P < .01). The scores of pain patients differed significantly from those of a control group of asymptomatic patients on the depression and sleep disorder measures. By being aware and using a simple questionnaire, the clinician may readily identify overlooked factors, such as sleep disorders and depression, when assessing cases of chronic pelvic pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pelvis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*