Stress is associated with subsequent pain and disability among men with nonbacterial prostatitis/pelvic pain

Ann Behav Med. 2005 Oct;30(2):112-8. doi: 10.1207/s15324796abm3002_3.


Background: Nonbacterial prostatitis is a syndrome characterized by persistent pelvic area pain in men with or without voiding symptoms. Its causes are poorly understood, and evidence-based treatments are lacking. Although psychological stress has been proposed as an etiological factor, the literature lacks prospective studies using standardized measures to examine associations between stress and male pelvic pain problems over time.

Purpose: This study examined whether perceived stress was associated longitudinally with pain intensity and pain-related disability in a sample of men with nonbacterial prostatitis/pelvic pain.

Methods: Men (N = 224) completed measures of perceived stress, pain intensity, and pain-related disability 1 month after a health care visit with a new nonbacterial prostatitis/pelvic pain diagnosis and 3, 6, and 12 months later.

Results: Greater perceived stress during the 6 months after the health care visit was associated with greater pain intensity (p = .03) and disability (p = .003) at 12 months, even after controlling for age, symptom duration, and pain and disability during the first 6 months.

Conclusions: These findings support further research into the associations between stress and male pelvic pain syndromes, as well as the assessment of stress in the evaluation of patients with pelvic pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Pelvic Pain / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatitis / complications
  • Prostatitis / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis