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Self-discrepancies in work-related upper extremity pain: relation to emotions and flexible goal adjustment.

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Recurrent pain not only has an impact on disability, but on the long term it may become a threat to one's sense of self. This paper presents a cross-sectional study of patients with work-related upper extremity pain and focuses on: (1) the role of self-discrepancies in this group, (2) the associations between self-discrepancies, pain, emotions and (3) the interaction between self-discrepancies and flexible-goal adjustment. Eighty-nine participants completed standardized self-report measures of pain intensity, pain duration, anxiety, depression and flexible-goal adjustment. A Selves Questionnaire was used to generate self-discrepancies. A series of hierarchical regression analyses showed relationships between actual-ought other, actual-ought self, actual-feared self-discrepancies and depression as well as a significant association between actual-ought other self-discrepancy and anxiety. Furthermore, significant interactions were found between actual-ought other self-discrepancies and flexibility, indicating that less flexible participants with large self-discrepancies score higher on depression.

This study showed that self-discrepancies are related to negative emotions and that flexible-goal adjustment served as a moderator in this relationship. The view of self in pain and flexible-goal adjustment should be considered as important variables in the process of chronic pain. (C) 2009 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Work-related upper extremity pain, Identity, Self-discrepancy, Negative emotions, Flexibility, LOW-BACK-PAIN, PERSISTENT PAIN, DISTRESS, ACCEPTANCE, PURSUIT, SELVES, DEPRESSION, STRATEGIES, SYMPTOMS, MODEL
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-770
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010