Perceived sensitivity to pain and responsiveness to non-noxious sensation in substance use disorder

Naama Assayag, Yoram Bonneh, Shula Parush, Haim Mell, Ricky Kaplan Neeman, Tami Bar-Shalita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective. This comparative cross-sectional study aimed to characterize individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) in self-perception of pain sensitivity, experimental auditory aversiveness, and non-noxious sensory responsiveness, as well as examine the associations with SUD. Methods. Therapeutic community (TC) individuals with SUD (N=63, male 88.9%) and healthy controls (N=60, male 86.7%) completed the Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) and the Sensory Responsiveness Questionnaire-Intensity Scale (SRQ-IS), followed by a psychophysical auditory battery, the Battery of Averseness to Sounds (BAS)-Revised. Results. The SUD group scored higher on the PSQ (P<0.0001), BASR aversiveness (P<0.0001), BAS-R-unpleasantness (P<0.0001), and on the aftersensation of auditory aversiveness (P<0.0001) and unpleasantness (P<0.000). Fifty-four percent of the SUD group vs 11.7% of the control group were identified as having sensory modulation dysfunction (SMD; P<0.0001). Logistic regression modeling revealed that the SRQ-IS-Aversive score had a stronger relationship, indicating a 12.6-times odds ratio for SUD (P=0.0002). Finally, a risk score calculated from a linear combination of the logistic regression model parameters is presented based on the PSQ and SRQ. Conclusions. This is the first study to explore sensory and aversive domains using experimental and self-reporting in situ, revealing pain perception alteration that co-occurs with high prevalence of SMD, specifically of the over-responsive type. Findings may be significant in clinical practice for treating pain, and for expanding therapeutic modalities as part of broader rehabilitation in TC and beyond, to better meet personalized therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1902-1912
Number of pages11
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Auditory Aversiveness
  • Pain Perception
  • Sensory Modulation Dysfunction
  • Sensory Overresponsiveness
  • Substance Use Disorder


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived sensitivity to pain and responsiveness to non-noxious sensation in substance use disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this