5 years ago

Beyond Negative Pain-Related Psychological Factors: Resilience Is Related to Lower Pain Affect in Healthy Adults

Resilience, a characteristic that enhances adaptation in response to stressful events, is a positive psychological factor that can predict and modulate health outcomes. However, resilience is rarely considered in pain research. Conversely, negative psychological factors (eg, anxiety, depression) are known to be related to the affective dimension of pain. It is critical to understand all potential psychological drivers of pain affect, a prominent component of chronic pain. We tested the hypothesis that higher resilience is associated with lower pain affect, above and beyond the predictive value of negative psychological factors. Healthy adults underwent psychophysical testing to acquire ratings of heat pain intensity and unpleasantness and completed the Resilience Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (trait form), Beck Depression Inventory, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and the Pain Vigilance and Attention Questionnaire. Multiple regression modeling (n = 68) showed resilience to be a negatively associated with pain affect (unpleasantness). Furthermore, in individuals with higher anxiety scores, resilience was protective against higher pain affect. This highlights the importance of resilience, a positive psychological factor, in the affective dimension of pain. This study is the first to assess a positive psychological factor and experimental pain affect, and has the potential to improve prediction of and treatment strategies for clinical pain. Perspective We report that resilience, a positive psychological factor, interacts with anxiety and is associated with heat pain affect (unpleasantness) in healthy individuals. Resilience may provide predictive value of chronic pain affect and treatment outcomes, and could be a target for behavioral therapy.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1526590017305734

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