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      Pain acceptance potentially mediates the relationship between pain catastrophizing and post-surgery outcomes among compensated lumbar fusion patients

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          Chronic low back pain is highly prevalent and often treatment recalcitrant condition, particularly among workers’ compensation patients. There is a need to identify psychological factors that may predispose such patients to pain chronicity. The primary aim of this study was to examine whether pain acceptance potentially mediated the relationship between pain catastrophizing and post-surgical outcomes in a sample of compensated lumbar fusion patients.

          Patients and methods

          Patients insured with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah and who were at least 2 years post-lumbar fusion surgery completed an outcome survey. These data were obtained from a prior retrospective-cohort study that administered measures of pain catastrophizing, pain acceptance, mental and physical health, and disability.

          Results

          Of the 101 patients who completed the outcome survey, 75.2% were male with a mean age of 42.42 years and predominantly identified as White (97.0%). The majority of the participants had a posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery. Pain acceptance, including activity engagement and pain willingness, was significantly correlated with better physical health and mental health, and lower disability rates. Pain catastrophizing was inversely correlated with measures of pain acceptance (activity engagement r=−0.67, p<0.01, pain willingness r=−0.73, p<0.01) as well as the outcome measures: mental health, physical health, and disability. Pain acceptance significantly mediated the relationship between pain catastrophizing and both mental and physical health and also the relationship between pain catastrophizing and disability.

          Conclusion

          This study demonstrated that the relationship between pain catastrophizing and negative patient outcomes was potentially mediated by pain acceptance. Understanding this mediating relationship offers insight into how pain acceptance may play a protective role in patients’ pain and disability and has potential implications for pain treatments.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Theoretical perspectives on the relation between catastrophizing and pain.

          The tendency to "catastrophize" during painful stimulation contributes to more intense pain experience and increased emotional distress. Catastrophizing has been broadly conceived as an exaggerated negative "mental set" brought to bear during painful experiences. Although findings have been consistent in showing a relation between catastrophizing and pain, research in this area has proceeded in the relative absence of a guiding theoretical framework. This article reviews the literature on the relation between catastrophizing and pain and examines the relative strengths and limitations of different theoretical models that could be advanced to account for the pattern of available findings. The article evaluates the explanatory power of a schema activation model, an appraisal model, an attention model, and a communal coping model of pain perception. It is suggested that catastrophizing might best be viewed from the perspective of hierarchical levels of analysis, where social factors and social goals may play a role in the development and maintenance of catastrophizing, whereas appraisal-related processes may point to the mechanisms that link catastrophizing to pain experience. Directions for future research are suggested.
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            SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models.

            Researchers often conduct mediation analysis in order to indirectly assess the effect of a proposed cause on some outcome through a proposed mediator. The utility of mediation analysis stems from its ability to go beyond the merely descriptive to a more functional understanding of the relationships among variables. A necessary component of mediation is a statistically and practically significant indirect effect. Although mediation hypotheses are frequently explored in psychological research, formal significance tests of indirect effects are rarely conducted. After a brief overview of mediation, we argue the importance of directly testing the significance of indirect effects and provide SPSS and SAS macros that facilitate estimation of the indirect effect with a normal theory approach and a bootstrap approach to obtaining confidence intervals, as well as the traditional approach advocated by Baron and Kenny (1986). We hope that this discussion and the macros will enhance the frequency of formal mediation tests in the psychology literature. Electronic copies of these macros may be downloaded from the Psychonomic Society's Web archive at www.psychonomic.org/archive/.
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              Mood and anxiety disorders associated with chronic pain: an examination in a nationally representative sample.

              Chronic pain and psychiatric disorders frequently co-occur. However, estimates of the magnitude of these associations have been biased by the use of select clinical samples. The present study utilized the National Comorbidity Survey [Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 51 (1994) 8-19] Part II data set to investigate the associations between a chronic pain condition (i.e. arthritis) and common mood and anxiety disorders in a sample representative of the general US civilian population. Participants (N=5877) completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview [World Health Organization (1990)], a structured interview for trained non-clinician interviewers based on the revised third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [American Psychiatric Association (1987)], and provided self-reports of pain and disability associated with a variety of medical conditions. Significant positive associations were found between chronic pain and individual 12-month mood and anxiety disorders [odds ratios (OR) ranged from 1.92 to 4.27]. The strongest associations were observed with panic disorder (OR=4.27) and post-traumatic stress disorder (OR=3.69). The presence of one psychiatric disorder was not significantly associated with pain-related disability, but the presence of multiple psychiatric disorders was significantly associated with increased disability. The findings of the present study raise the possibility that improved efforts regarding the detection and treatment of anxiety disorders may be required in pain treatment settings.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2017
                30 December 2016
                : 10
                : 65-72
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
                [2 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: M. Scott DeBerard, Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-2810, USA, Tel +1 435 797 1462, Fax +1 435 797 1448, Email scott.deberard@ 123456usu.edu
                Article
                jpr-10-065
                10.2147/JPR.S122601
                5215120
                © 2017 Dance et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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