"Being" in pain : the role of self-discrepancies in explaining emotional well-being and activity patterns in chronic pain

H.P.J. Kindermans

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Patients with chronic pain are not only confronted with the pain and its influence on their doings, but also with its influence on their ‘being’. Kindermans studied the role of self-discrepancies in chronic pain. Self-discrepancies are differences people experience between who they are and who they would ideally want to be (ideal self), who they think they should be (imposed self), and who they fear to be (feared self). These discrepancies can lead to depression or anxiety complaints. It turned out that the greater discrepancies patients with chronic pain experienced between their true self and the other self-images, the more they suffered from depression and anxiety complaints. Patients who could more flexibly deal with their objectives experienced fewer negative emotions in spite of present self-discrepancies. The closer patients felt to their feared self, the more they reported avoidance, which resulted in more limitations and a reduced quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Vlaeyen, Johannes, Supervisor
  • Goossens, Mariëlle, Co-Supervisor
  • Roelofs, Jeffrey, Co-Supervisor
Award date1 Mar 2012
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461591210
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • chronic pain
  • self-discrepancies
  • depression
  • fear

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