Sex Differences in Clinical Pain: A Multisample Study

Michael E. Robinson*, Emily A. Wise, Joseph L. Riley, James W. Atchison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A recent meta-analysis of the experimental pain literature revealed effect sizes of .55 for pain threshold and .57 for pain tolerance, indicating a moderate difference in pain perception between men and women, with women reporting an increased sensitivity to pain. The current study investigated the relationship between sex and clinical pain ratings, in patients seeking care at a tertiary care facility. Five samples of chronic pain patients were recruited from several diverse clinics associated with the University of Florida. Analyses of clinical pain ratings revealed similar effect sizes for all samples, ranging from -.07 to -.25, indicating small differences, with women reporting higher levels of clinical pain. This is the first paper to report effect sizes for differences in report of pain in samples of chronic pain patients presenting for treatment at a tertiary care facility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Chronic pain
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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