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Depress Anxiety. 2010 Aug;27(8):760-7. doi: 10.1002/da.20681.

A meta-analytic review of the association between anxiety sensitivity and pain.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Boston University, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


In recent years, anxiety sensitivity (AS) has demonstrated applicability across a wide range of conditions. An area of particular interest has been the association between AS and pain. This study aimed to provide an accounting of the magnitude of this effect across studies of both clinical and nonclinical pain. Forty-one studies (14 clinical and 27 nonclinical pain) were evaluated in this meta-analytic review and represented the study of 5,908 participants (2,093 for clinical and 3,815 for nonclinical pain studies). Results indicate that AS was strongly associated with fearful appraisals of pain, with more modest results for measures of pain tolerance/threshold and pain-related disability. Implications of these results for the treatment of chronic pain are discussed.

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