Improving Pain Communication Skills to Reduce Pain Catastrophizing

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Using hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, a positive correlation was established between ambivalence over emotional expression and pain catastrophizing.
Using hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, a positive correlation was established between ambivalence over emotional expression and pain catastrophizing.

Improving the ability to communicate about pain may help reduce the negative effects associated with ambivalence over emotional expression on pain catastrophizing in patients with osteoarthritis pain, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain.

The researchers examined the degree to which ambivalence over emotional expression and negative network orientation were associated with pain catastrophizing in 60 patients with osteoarthritis pain (average age, 65.4 years, average pain score, 4.33 on a 0 to 10 scale; 61.7% women; 86.7% white), and whether self-efficacy for pain communication moderated these relations.

Using hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, a positive correlation was established between ambivalence over emotional expression and pain catastrophizing (r = 0.56; P <.001), and lower use of one's social network (r = 0.37; P <.01).

Greater self-efficacy for pain communication was associated with a weaker association between ambivalence over emotional expression and pain catastrophizing.

"Our results suggest that clinicians should be especially attentive to patients with OA who have high ambivalence over emotional expression and low self-efficacy for pain communication," concluded the study authors.

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Reference

Van Denburg AN, Shelby RA, Caldwell DS, O'Sullivan ML, Keefe FJ. Self-efficacy for pain communication moderates the relation between ambivalence over emotional expression and pain catastrophizing among patients with osteoarthritis [published online April 6, 2018]. J Pain. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.04.001

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