Individuals who experience pain often engage in catastrophizing (CAT), a cognitive style involving rumination about pain, magnification of perceived threat, and a feeling of helplessness to cope with the pain. Moreover, high levels of catastrophizing have been shown to lead to poorer pain outcomes, such as lower pain tolerance and greater pain-related disability. Training in cognitive coping skills can help individuals to manage pain more effectively. In the current study, 111 pain-free undergraduate participants completed two modalities of experimental pain tasks (pressure, cold pressor) before and after an intervention targeted at reducing CAT through three cognitive-behavioral coping strategies: distraction, mindfulness/acceptance of pain, and cognitive restructuring. Pain responses from this group were compared to two other groups, one that underwent a positive mood induction procedure and one that underwent a similar procedure aimed at having no effect on mood (neutral mood group), which served as a control group. Participants also completed a new measure, the Catastrophizing Visual Analog Scale (CAT-VAS), designed to assess in-the-moment CAT during pain tasks. This new measure improves upon previous retrospective self-report measures of CAT given that CAT measured during or immediately after the pain experience accounts for more variance in pain responses (e.g., Edwards, Campbell, & Fillingim, 2005). Overall, the cognitive skills group showed lower CAT, higher pain tolerance, and greater reductions in subjective pain report post-intervention than either the positive or neutral mood groups. In addition, the CAT-VAS was more powerful in predicting pain response than existing retrospective questionnaire measurements. The results provide support for cognitive appraisal and fear-avoidance models of pain and pain coping, in which rumination and negative appraisal of pain escalate over time and promote a continued state of pain and distress whereas active coping attempts lead to greater pain relief.
|Advisor:||Gil, Karen M.|
|Commitee:||Abramowitz, Jonathan S., Bauer, Daniel J., Gil, Karen M., Hollins, Mark, Neblett, Enrique W.|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Experimental psychology|
|Keywords:||Assessment, Cold pressor, Coping, Experimental pain, Pain catastrophizing|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.