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      Effects of coping statements on experimental pain in chronic pain patients

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          Abstract

          The present study measured the effects of catastrophizing self-statements and positive coping self-statements on cold pressor-induced pain. Participants were 58 adult chronic pain patients with current facial pain. It was hypothesized that catastrophizing would lead to a decrease in pain endurance whereas positive coping would lead to an increase in pain endurance. It was also hypothesized that catastrophizing would lead to an increase in peak pain intensity whereas positive coping would lead to a decrease in peak pain intensity. At pretest, participants submerged their nondominant hand in the cold pressor. Pain sensitivity ranges (PSR) were subsequently determined by calculating the difference between tolerance and threshold times. Ratings of peak pain intensity were measured using a pressure sensitive bladder/transducer. Participants underwent random assignment to either a catastrophizing group or a positive coping self-statement group. ANCOVA results revealed that on average, participants employing catastrophizing statements as a coping strategy experienced significantly lower PSR (M = 35.53, SD = 39.71) compared to participants employing positive coping self-statements (M = 73.70, SD = 86.14) when controlling for pretest PSR. Group assignment had no significant influence on peak pain intensity ratings. Thus, our results reveal that manipulation of coping causes changes in pain endurance.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Pain catastrophizing and kinesiophobia: predictors of chronic low back pain.

          By using a population-based cohort of the general Dutch population, the authors studied whether an excessively negative orientation toward pain (pain catastrophizing) and fear of movement/(re)injury (kinesiophobia) are important in the etiology of chronic low back pain and associated disability, as clinical studies have suggested. A total of 1,845 of the 2,338 inhabitants (without severe disease) aged 25-64 years who participated in a 1998 population-based questionnaire survey on musculoskeletal pain were sent a second questionnaire after 6 months; 1,571 (85 percent) participated. For subjects with low back pain at baseline, a high level of pain catastrophizing predicted low back pain at follow-up (odds ratio (OR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 2.8) and chronic low back pain (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0, 2.3), in particular severe low back pain (OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.7, 5.2) and low back pain with disability (OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.7, 5.4). A high level of kinesiophobia showed similar associations. The significant associations remained after adjustment for pain duration, pain severity, or disability at baseline. For those without low back pain at baseline, a high level of pain catastrophizing or kinesiophobia predicted low back pain with disability during follow-up. These cognitive and emotional factors should be considered when prevention programs are developed for chronic low back pain and related disability.
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            Pain catastrophizing predicts pain intensity, disability, and psychological distress independent of the level of physical impairment.

            The aim of the current study was to examine the relation between catastrophizing and pain intensity, pain-related disability, and psychological distress in a group of patients with chronic pain, controlling for the level of physical impairment. Furthermore, it was examined whether these relations are the same for three subgroups of chronic pain patients: those with chronic low back pain, those with chronic musculoskeletal pain other than low back pain, and those with miscellaneous chronic pain complaints, low back pain and musculoskeletal pain excluded. Correlational, cross-sectional. Participants in this study were 211 consecutive referrals presenting to a university hospital pain management and research center, all of whom had a chronic pain problem. Overall, chronic pain patients who catastrophize reported more pain intensity, felt more disabled by their pain problem, and experienced more psychological distress. Regression analyses revealed that catastrophizing was a potent predictor of pain intensity, disability, and psychological distress, even when controlled for physical impairment. No fundamental differences between the three subgroups were found in this respect. Finally, it was demonstrated that there was no relation between physical impairment and catastrophizing. It was concluded that for different subgroups of chronic pain patients, catastrophizing plays a crucial role in the chronic pain experience, significantly contributing to the variance of pain intensity, pain-related disability, and psychological distress. These relations are not confounded by the level of physical impairment. Some clinical implications of the results are discussed. Finally, the authors concluded that these results support the validity of a cognitive-behavioral conceptualization of chronic pain-related disability.
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              Response expectancies in placebo analgesia and their clinical relevance.

              Response expectancies have been proposed as the major determinant of placebo effects. Here we report that different expectations produce different analgesic effects which in turn can be harnessed in clinical practice. Thoracotomized patients were treated with buprenorphine on request for 3 consecutive days, together with a basal intravenous infusion of saline solution. However, the symbolic meaning of this basal infusion was changed in three different groups of patients. The first group was told nothing about any analgesic effect (natural history). The second group was told that the basal infusion was either a powerful painkiller or a placebo (classic double-blind administration). The third group was told that the basal infusion was a potent painkiller (deceptive administration). Therefore, whereas the analgesic treatment was exactly the same in the three groups, the verbal instructions about the basal infusion differed. The placebo effect of the saline basal infusion was measured by recording the doses of buprenorphine requested over the three-days treatment. We found that the double-blind group showed a reduction of buprenorphine requests compared to the natural history group. However, this reduction was even larger in the deceptive administration group. Overall, after 3 days of placebo infusion, the first group received 11.55 mg of buprenorphine, the second group 9.15 mg, and the third group 7.65 mg. Despite these dose differences, analgesia was the same in the three groups. These results indicate that different verbal instructions about certain and uncertain expectations of analgesia produce different placebo analgesic effects, which in turn trigger a dramatic change of behaviour leading to a significant reduction of opioid intake.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of pain research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2009
                19 August 2009
                : 2
                : 109-116
                Affiliations
                Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Michael E Robinson, Dept. of Clinical and Health Psychology, PO Box 100165, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0165, USA, Tel +1 352 273 6617, Fax +1 352 273 6156, Email merobin@ 123456ufl.edu
                Article
                jpr-2-109
                3004623
                21197299
                © 2009 Roditi et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                coping, catastrophizing, pain sensitivity, expectation

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