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      Does pain hypervigilance further impact the lack of habituation to pain in individuals with chronic pain? A cross-sectional pain ERP study

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          In chronic pain, habituation is believed to be impaired, and pain hypervigilance can enhance the pain experience. The goal of this study was to determine whether pain hypervigilance further worsens habituation of event-related potentials, measured in a pain-rating protocol of 25 painful somatosensory electrical stimuli, in patients with chronic pain.


          Pain hypervigilance was assessed with the Pain Vigilance Awareness Questionnaire and analyzed using the event-related fixed interval areas multilevel technique, which enables one to study within-session habituation. In a cohort of 111 participants, 33 reported chronic pain. This chronic pain group was compared with 33 pain-free individuals, matched for age and sex.


          The relationship between pain status and habituation was not moderated by pain hypervigilance. Chronic pain status affected linear habituation and dishabituation (quadratic function) from 220 to 260 ms for nearly all electrodes, and from 580 to 640 ms for frontal electrodes. The effect of pain hypervigilance on habituation was observed primarily from 480 to 820 ms poststimulus for right-sided and central electrodes.


          Pain hypervigilance and chronic pain independently influence habituation to painful stimuli – although not synergistically. To confirm that these effects are mediated by separate pathways, further research is required, in which electroencephalography is combined with other modalities with adequate spatial resolution, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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          Most cited references 35

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          This paper reports the development of a self-report instrument designed to assess pain in cancer and other diseases. It is argued that issues of reliability and validity should be considered for every pain questionnaire. Most research on measures of pain examine reliability to the relative neglect of validity concerns. The Wisconsin Brief Pain Questionnaire (BPQ) is evaluated with regard to both reliability and validity. Data from patients with cancer at 4 primary sites and from patients with rheumatoid arthritis suggest that the BPQ is sufficiently reliable and valid for research purposes. Additional methodological and theoretical issues related to validity are discussed, and the need for continuing evaluation of the BPQ and other measures of clinical pain is stressed.
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                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                19 February 2018
                : 11
                : 395-405
                [1 ]Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine
                [2 ]Department of Psychiatry & Psychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
                [3 ]King’s College London, King’s Health Partners, Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Catherine J Vossen, Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands, Tel +31 43 387 7455, Fax +31 43 387 5457, Email c.vossen@ 123456mumc.nl
                © 2018 Vossen 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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