Pain perception and body awareness among individuals with borderline personality disorder

Karni Ginzburg, Iftah Biran, Itay Goor Aryeh, Noga Tsur, Ruth Defrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies indicate that individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often demonstrate attenuated pain perception, termed hypoalgesia. This study examines the hypothesis that body awareness moderates the association between BPD and pain perception. Participants consisted of 46 women diagnosed with BPD and 47 healthy controls. Sensory testing included the measurement of heat-pain thresholds, ratings of suprathreshold stimuli, measurement of temperature evoking moderate pain, and temporal summation of noxious mechanical stimuli. Body awareness was assessed by a self-report questionnaire. As hypothesized, among subjects with low levels of body awareness, those with BPD demonstrated hypoalgesia as manifested in their lower suprathreshold pain ratings and moderate pain evoked by higher temperature, in comparison with the controls. Among those with high levels of body awareness, BPD subjects demonstrated increased reactivity to pain as manifested in their higher pain ratings and moderate pain evoked by lower temperature, in comparison with the controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-635
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

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