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Psychological changes and the resolution of acute neck pain after a motor vehicle accident

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Abstract

This study examines the changes in self-perception during resolution of an acutely painful neck injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident. We tested predictions from self-discrepancy theory and a model of self-pain enmeshment. Measures of discrepancy between the current (actual) self and both the ideal and feared-for self were predicted to remain stable over a 21-day recovery period whereas a measure of enmeshment was predicted to decrease as pain resolved. We also examined the relationship between daily ratings of achievement in several domains and participants perceived ideal performance. Sixty patients with possible acute neck injury recruited within 1 month after a motor vehicle accident gave consent and data were obtained from 42 participants. Standard questionnaire measures of pain, disability, fear of movement, pain catastrophizing and self-discrepancies, self-pain enmeshment and data from diaries (measures of pain, mood, self-discrepancies, pain catastrophizing and fear of movement) were obtained. In general the relationships between the measures of self-discrepancy and enmeshment and mood were in accord with both theoretical predictions and previous observations. Resolution of pain was associated with a reduction in enmeshment but not to change in self-discrepancy. Multilevel analyses of the diary data showed that concordance between actual and ideal performance increased over the 21 days of data collection. These data provide preliminary support for aspects of self-discrepancy theory and the self-pain enmeshment model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

    Research areas

  • Self-discrepancy, Self-pain enmeshment, Neck pain, Recovery, LOW-BACK-PAIN, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, SELF-DISCREPANCIES, POSSIBLE SELVES, TAMPA SCALE, CATASTROPHIZING SCALE, FEAR, KINESIOPHOBIA, ENMESHMENT, ADJUSTMENT
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-312
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011