Bending Not Breaking: Flexibility and mindfulness as resilience factors for pain and recovery

Astrid Meesters

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Acute pain is an important sensation that serves a protective role, as it informs the body about potential physical harm or illness. However, acute pain loses its adaptive function when it transitions into chronic pain. Various psychosocial factors influence pain perception and the transition from acute to chronic pain, with psychological flexibility (including its subcomponents emotional and cognitive flexibility) and mindfulness being among those factors. However, the role of psychological flexibility in the development of chronic pain (i.e., non-recovery) remains largely unknown. This dissertation aimed to gain insight into the link between psychological flexibility and mindfulness, and pain experience and recovery. Findings did not uniformly point to a relationship between the relatively new concepts of psychological flexibility (i.e., emotional and cognitive flexibility) and mindfulness, and pain experience and recovery. However, first indications of associations between emotional flexibility and recovery from pain and of beneficial effects of mindfulness for wound healing have been put forward.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Peters, Madelon, Supervisor
  • Vancleef, Linda, Co-Supervisor
Award date28 Sep 2022
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464584295
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • pain
  • recovery
  • emotional flexibility
  • cognitive flexibility
  • mindfulness

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