Anxiety Increases Pain Intensity and Disability
Author: Medical News
Synopsis and Key Points:
Individuals with high levels of anxiety due to chronic pain exhibit more emotional distress and disability.
Main DigestBritish researchers writing in The Journal of Pain, the peer-review publication of the American Pain Society, found that individuals with high levels of anxiety due to chronic pain exhibit more emotional distress and disability, but the use of pain coping strategies can mediate this effect.
British researchers writing in The Journal of Pain, the peer-review publication of the American Pain Society, found that individuals with high levels of anxiety due to chronic pain exhibit more emotional distress and disability, but the use of pain coping strategies can mediate this effect.
The purpose of the study was to examine the role of anxiety on everyday functioning of patients seeking treatment for chronic pain. It was assumed anxiety would be associated with higher levels of distress and impaired functioning. The researchers also evaluated the role of three coping mechanisms to determine their impact as buffers nullifying the effects of anxiety. They are acceptance of pain, mindfulness and values-based action.
The study subjects were 125 consecutive adult patients who answered questionnaires designed to assess their anxiety about pain, measure their acceptance of it, identify the values they associated with interacting with family and friends and with working and learning, and to gauge the level of their mindfulness about pain ranging from almost always to almost never.
Results of the study showed that anxiety is associated with greater pain, emotional distress and disability in chronic pain patients. Anxiety was determined to be the strongest predictor of depression, disability and visits to physician offices. When the three coping strategies were used, the authors concluded that acceptance of pain, mindfulness and values-based actions reduce but do not eliminate the extent to which anxiety influences patient functioning. The authors concluded that in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapies, the coping mechanisms can undermine the role of anxiety in worsening suffering and disability in chronic pain patients.
- 1: High-frequency Electrical Stimulation to Spinal Cord Eases Chronic Pain : Case Western Reserve University (2015/12/04)
- 2: Dry Eye and Chronic Pain Syndrome : University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (2016/01/08)
- 3: Adenosine: A Switch to Turn Off Pain : Saint Louis University (2014/11/29)
- 4: Spinal Cord Stimulation Reduces Chronic Pain Emotional Aspect : Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (2016/03/22)
- 5: Caffeine Can Help Reduce Joint and Other Pain : Disabled World (2014/06/17)
- 6: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Study Insights : University of Bath (2017/07/10)
- 7: Pain: A Multi-layered Gradual Event : Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (2016/03/25)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.