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Private body consciousness, anxiety & pain symptom reports of chronic pain patients

  [ 23 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Ferguson RJ, Ahles TA • www.ProHealth.com • May 10, 1998


An information processing model of pain symptom perception and
reporting predicts that individuals prone to high levels of
attentional self-focus and negative affect will report more
pain than individuals low in these characteristics. Past
research on college student and medical patient samples has
shown that individuals high in private body consciousness
(PBC), or attentional self-focus and who report higher levels
of anxiety report more pain symptoms than counterparts low in
PBC and anxiety. The present study examined effects of PBC and
anxiety on pain reports of individuals suffering chronic pain
(N = 144). Pain patients suffering chronic headache, low back
pain, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia were included in
the sample. A non-pain control sample (N = 31) was also
studied to examine potential differences between controls and
pain patients. Results indicated that pain patients reporting
high levels of PBC reported more pain, although the effects of
anxiety on pain reports among pain patients was not
significant. Controls did not differ from pain patients on
PBC, nor did the 4 groups of pain patients differ on PBC,
suggesting PBC is a dispositional variable. Implications for
the importance of attentional self-focus in pain symptom
reporting are discussed.




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