The Effect of Perceived Injustice on Appraisals of Physical Activity: An Examination of the Mediating Role of Attention Bias to Pain in a Chronic Low Back Pain Sample

Zina Trost*, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Whitney Scott, Adam Guck, Tine Vervoortt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

The current study examined the relationship between perceived injustice and attentional bias (AB) toward pain among individuals with chronic low back pain asked to perform and appraise the pain and difficulty of a standardized set of common physical activities. A pictorial dot-probe task assessed AB toward pain stimuli (ie, pain faces cueing pain), after which participants performed the physical tasks. Participants also rated face stimuli in terms of pain, sadness, and anger expression. As hypothesized, perceived injustice was positively associated with AB toward pain stimuli; additionally, perceived injustice and AB were positively associated with appraisals of pain and difficulty. Counter to expectations, AB did not mediate the relationship between perceived injustice and task appraisals, suggesting that AB is insufficient to explain this relationship. Exploratory analyses indicated that participants with higher levels of perceived injustice rated stimulus faces as sadder and angrier; no such differences emerged for pain ratings. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between perceived injustice and AB toward pain, as well as perceived injustice and in vivo appraisals of common physical activity. Results extend existing literature and suggest that attentional and potential interpretive bias should be considered in future research.

Perspective: This article identifies significant associations between perceived injustice, biased attention to pain, and appraisals of common physical activities among individuals with chronic low back pain. These findings suggest targets for intervention as well as directions for future research regarding individuals with high perceptions of injustice related to pain. (C) 2016 by the American Pain Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1216
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Perceived injustice
  • selective attention
  • pain
  • anger
  • chronic low back pain
  • DOT-PROBE PARADIGM
  • SELECTIVE ATTENTION
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN
  • WHIPLASH-INJURY
  • CHILDRENS PAIN
  • EYE-TRACKING
  • OUTCOMES
  • INFORMATION
  • INDIVIDUALS
  • EXPERIENCE

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