The causal status of pain catastrophizing: an experimental test with healthy participants.

J.R.M. Severeijns, M.A. van den Hout, J.W.S. Vlaeyen

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Abstract

In the current study we report findings on the effects of experimentally induced catastrophizing about pain on expected pain, experienced pain and escape/avoidance behavior during a cold pressor task in a sample of healthy participants. It was hypothesized that increasing the level of catastrophizing would result in a higher level of expected pain, a higher level of experienced pain, and a shorter duration of ice-water immersion. Also, it was hypothesized that these relations might be stronger for participants who already catastrophized about pain prior to the experiment. The results demonstrated that despite the successful attempt to induce catastrophizing, this neither significantly affected expected pain, experienced pain, and duration of ice-water immersion, nor were these relations moderated by the pre-experimental level of catastrophizing. Although the level of catastrophizing was successfully manipulated, more similar experiments are necessary in order to give a more definite answer on the possible causal status of pain catastrophizing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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