The current study sought to examine how changes in pain-related beliefs and coping responses are related to changes in pain interference and psychological functioning in individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and pain. To measure longitudinal changes in these variables, respondents completed a survey that included measures of pain intensity, pain interference, and psychological functioning, as well as specific psychosocial variables (pain-related beliefs, coping, and social support) and then completed the same survey 6 months later; analyses included only the individuals who reported pain at both times (n = 40). Demographic and injury-related variables were also assessed, but none were found to be significantly associated with changes in functioning. Changes in catastrophizing and belief in one's ability to control pain were each significantly associated with changes in the outcome variables: Greater pain interference and poorer psychological functioning. Changes in specific coping strategies and social support were not predictors of changes in pain, interference, or psychological functioning. These findings support a biopsychosocial model of pain in persons with SCI. Intervention studies targeting maladaptive pain-related beliefs and catastrophizing may help to identify the causal nature of these relationships and may improve multidisciplinary treatment of pain in SCI. Perspective: Intervention studies targeting catastrophizing and maladaptive pain-related beliefs may be the next step in determining which variables play a causal role in the pain interference and psychological functioning of individuals with pain and SCI.
- mental health
- spinal cord injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
- Clinical Neurology