Pain acceptance moderates the relation between pain and negative affect in female osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia patients

Journal: Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2007 Jun;33(3):291-301.

Authors and affiliation: Kratz AL, Davis MC, Zautra AJ. Arizona State University, Arizona, USA.

PMID: 17600456

Background: Chronic pain is often intractable despite advanced medical and psychotherapeutic treatments. Pain acceptance is emerging as a promising complement to control-based pain management strategies and a likely approach to maintaining quality of life for chronic pain patients.

Purpose: This theoretically based analysis of an existing database examined the extent to which pain acceptance predicted weekly reports of positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA), and the relations of pain severity to both PA and NA.

Methods: Participants were women, 36 with osteoarthritis and 86 with fibromyalgia, who completed an initial assessment for demographics, pain catastrophizing, and pain acceptance, and 2 to 12 weekly assessments of pain severity, PA, and NA.

Results: Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that pain acceptance was related to higher levels of positive affect but was unrelated to negative affect. Furthermore, pain acceptance moderated the relation of negative affect and pain severity, such that expected increases in negative affect during pain exacerbations were buffered by higher levels of pain acceptance.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that pain patients with greater capacity to accept pain may be emotionally resilient in managing their condition.

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