Use of the McGill Pain Questionnaire to compare women with vulvar pain, pelvic pain and headaches

H. K. Haefner*, M. H. Khoshnevisan, J. E. Bachman, H. D. Flowe-Valencia, C. R. Green, B. D. Reed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To assess differences between women with three distinct types of chronic pain conditions using a modified McGill Pain Questionnaire. STUDY DESIGN: Data by self-administered questionnaire were collected on patients presenting to the University of Michigan Medical Center with chronic vulvar pain (144 patients), pelvic pain (198 patients) or headaches (130 patients). Data for analysis included: patient demographics, duration of pain and modified McGill Pain Questionnaire scores. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS: Patients with vulvar pain had more formal education (P < .001), were more likely to be married (P < .001) and were less likely to be African American (P= .003) as compared to those with chronic pelvic pain and headaches. Chronic pelvic pain patients were younger than those in the other two groups (P= .002), and headache patients were likely to have had their chronic pain for a shorter duration than those with vulvar or pelvic pain (P < .001). Patients with vulvar pain had lower total scores on the McGill Pain Questionnaire as well as on the four subsets of variables: affective, sensory, cognitive and miscellaneous indexes (P < .001). They also chose fewer words to describe their symptoms from the 20-word lists (P < .001) and had lower average scores in each of the 20 categories as compared to the other two groups (P < .0001). Controlling for age, ethnicity and marital status did not alter this significance. CONCLUSION: Patients with vulvar pain were a unique group when compared to other chronic pain populations. Evaluation of the demographics and McGill Pain Questionnaire scores confirmed the distinct qualities of women with vulvar pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2000


  • Chronic vulvar pain
  • McGill Pain Questionnaire
  • Pain
  • Pain measurement
  • Vulvar diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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