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Pain. 2004 Aug;110(3):656-64.

Pain catastrophizing and social support in married individuals with chronic pain: the moderating role of pain duration.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, 71 West Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


In the current study, 96 married chronic pain patients were recruited from the community to test hypotheses about the roles of catastrophizing and psychological distress in relation to perceived support from close others. It was expected that pain duration would moderate the relationship between catastrophizing and perceived support and between catastrophizing and psychological distress. In addition, distress was hypothesized to mediate the relationship between the pain duration-catastrophizing interaction and support. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that pain duration interacted with catastrophizing such that at shorter pain durations, pain catastrophizing was related to more perceived solicitous spouse responses; however no such relationship existed for patients with longer pain durations. In contrast, catastrophizing was significantly related to less perceived spousal support (i.e. support not specific to pain) in patients with longer durations of pain whereas no significant relationship existed for patients with shorter pain durations. Pain duration did not interact with catastrophizing in relating to psychological distress, which precluded the examination of distress as a mediator between the pain duration-catastrophizing interaction and support. Moreover, psychological distress did not significantly mediate the relationships between pain catastrophizing and perceived support. These findings are discussed in the context of cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal perspectives of pain.

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