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Health Psychol. 2008 Mar;27(2):215-20. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2.215.

A prospective analysis of acceptance of pain and values-based action in patients with chronic pain.

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Pain Management Unit, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, University of Bath, Bath, UK.



Acceptance of pain and values-based action appear important in the emotional, physical, and social functioning of individuals with chronic pain. The purpose of the current study was to prospectively investigate these combined processes.


115 patients attending an assessment and treatment course for chronic pain in the U.K. completed a standard set of measures on two occasions separated by an average of 18.5 weeks.


Correlation analyses showed that acceptance of pain and values-based action measured at Time 1 were significantly correlated with pain, pain-related distress, pain-related anxiety and avoidance, depression, depression-related interference with functioning, and physical and psychosocial disability measured at Time 2. Multiple regression analyses, in which pain and relevant patient background variables were controlled, showed that the combined acceptance and values measures accounted for between 6.5% and 27.0% of variance in six key measures of patient functioning later in time.


These results support the importance of acceptance and values-related processes in relation to chronic pain. These results also encourage continued applications of a functional contextual model of psychopathology, the model underlying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and related approaches such as Contextual Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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