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Evaluating the role of physical, operant, cognitive, & affective factors in the pain behaviors of chronic pain patients

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By Turk DC, Okifuji A • www.ProHealth.com • July 12, 1997


Behavioral manifestations of pain, distress, and suffering have been
characterized as pain behaviors. Although acquisition and
maintenance of pain behaviors have been considered to occur
through reinforcement contingencies, empirical evidence
suggests that pain behavior is better understood as a
multidimensional entity. The present study was designed to
evaluate the contributions of physical, operant, cognitive,
and affective factors to individual differences in pain
behaviors. A total of 63 chronic pain patients diagnosed with
the disorder fibromyalgia underwent medical, physical, and
psychological evaluations. Hierarchical regression analyses
revealed that the physical, cognitive, and affective factors,
but not operant factors, were significantly related to
observed pain behaviors. The set of all factors accounted for
53% of the variance in observed pain behavior. The results in
this study suggest that pain behaviors should be
conceptualized as behavioral manifestation of pain based on a
complex interaction of various psychological and physical
factors.




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