Recurrent pain is associated with decreased selective attention in a population-based sample

C.P. Gijsen, J.B. Dijkstra, M.P.J. van Boxtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Studies which have examined the impact of pain on cognitive functioning in the general population are scarce. In the present study we assessed the predictive value of recurrent pain on cognitive functioning in a population-based study (N =1400). Furthermore, we investigated the effect of pain on cognitive functioning in individuals with specific pain complaints (i.e. back pain, gastric pain, muscle pain and headache). Cognitive functioning was assessed using the Stroop Color-Word Interference test (Stroop interference), the Letter-Digit-Substitution test (LDST) and the Visual Verbal learning Task (VVLT). Pain was measured with the COOP/WONCA pain scale (Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative Information Project/World Organization of National Colleges, Academies, and Academic Associations of General Practice/Family Physicians). We controlled for the effects of age, sex, level of education and depressive symptoms. It was demonstrated that pain had a negative impact on the performance on the Stroop interference but not on the VVLT and the LDST. This indicates that subjects who reported extreme pain had more problems with selective attention and were more easily distracted. Effects were in general larger in the specific pain groups when compared to the associations found in the total group. Implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalPain
Volume152
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Pain
  • Population-based sample
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Selective attention
  • COOP/WONCA CHARTS
  • SELF-REPORT
  • COGNITIVE FUNCTION
  • NORMATIVE DATA
  • PERFORMANCE
  • IMPACT
  • AGE
  • FIBROMYALGIA
  • COMPLAINTS
  • EDUCATION

Cite this