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Pain Manag Nurs. 2008 Jun;9(2):73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2008.01.004.

The relationship of pain catastrophizing to heightened feelings of distress.

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Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 234529-0267, USA.


This study examined pain catastrophizing in individuals experiencing chronic pain conditions. Total score on the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) was examined, along with its relationship to several clinical scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory-Second Edition to answer the question of which scale would have the strongest relationship with total score on the PCS. These three scales have been most commonly implicated in chronic pain conditions. Overall results supported the importance of pain catastrophizing in helping to create heightened feelings of distress. Individuals higher in catastrophizing tend to experience increased pain, distress, anxiety, and depression with lower levels of functioning. A quick measure of catastrophizing is supported that will allow the professional more knowledge of the role of pain in the individual's condition and how pain-related thoughts may modify their quality of life.

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