Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences

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Individual differences in perception and response to experimental pain in a young Nigerian population

A.H. Umar, K. Aliyu, O.I. Jimoh, A.A. Isyaku, N.M. Saleh


Background: Pain is a protective sensation that alerts an individual to injury from the environment. Experience of pain is characterised by robust individual differences and complex environmental and genetic factors lead to individual variations in pain. Studies of experimental pain are free from the confound of disease progression, but can be highly relevant to clinical pain states. The aim of this study is to evaluate individual differences in perception and response to experimental pain among young Nigerian population. Methods: One hundred and thirty apparently healthy subjects (age 12 to 20 years) were used. Pain was accessed using cold pressor test and ischemic pain models. VAS and VRS were used to access pain catastrophizing. Data were presented as mean ± SD. Differences and statistical significance between the means were determined using t test. Values of P < 0.05 were considered significant. Results: The results showed significant differences among the study population in experimental pain threshold and tolerance. Conclusion: The study proved that there is variation in perception and response to experimental pain among secondary school students in Zaria, Northern Nigeria

AJOL African Journals Online