Catastrophizing is associated with pain intensity, psychological distress, and pain-related disability among individuals with chronic pain after spinal cord injury

Judith A. Turner, Mark P. Jensen, Catherine A. Warms, Diana D. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

230 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little research has examined the role of patient cognitive and behavioral responses, including catastrophizing, in adjustment to chronic pain associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of this study was to examine the associations of catastrophizing and specific pain coping strategies with pain intensity, psychological distress, and pain-related disability among individuals with chronic pain and SCI, after controlling for important demographic and SCI-related variables that might affect outcomes. Participants in this study were 174 community residents with SCI and chronic pain who completed a mailed questionnaire that included the SF-36 Mental Health scale, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, and Graded Chronic Pain Scale. The pain coping and catastrophizing measures explained an additional 29% of the variance in pain intensity after adjusting for the demographic and SCI variables (P<0.001). The coping and catastrophizing scales accounted for an additional 30% of the variance in psychological distress (P<0.001) and 11% of the variance in pain-related disability (P<0.001), after controlling for pain intensity and demographic and SCI variables. Catastrophizing, but not any other single pain coping strategy, was consistently strongly and independently associated with the outcome measures. Potentially, the assessment and treatment of catastrophizing may reduce psychological distress and pain-related disability among individuals with chronic pain and SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalPain
Volume98
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Catastrophizing
  • Chronic pain
  • Coping
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Psychology

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