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Pain Med. 2017 Jan 1;18(1):49-60. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnw123.

Influence of Catastrophizing and Personality Traits on Recalled Ratings of Acute Pain Experience in Healthy Young Adults.

Author information

1
Division of Physiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
2
Lehrstuhl Für Neurophysiologie, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Abstract

Objective:

To investigate whether pain catastrophizing and personality traits bias recalled ratings of acute pain in an experimental tonic pain model.

Subjects and Setting:

Fifty-six undergraduates (14 males) recruited from the University of Peradeniya (mean age 21.7 ± 0.8 SD years).

Design and Methods:

Participants completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. They were subjected to two cold pressor tests (dominant and non-dominant hands) and pain threshold, maximum pain intensity, and pain tolerance were recorded. One-week later, the maximum pain intensities of both hands were recalled and percentage distortions in recalling were calculated. Based on a 180 s cutoff, two participants were considered pain-insensitive during the test and were excluded from the analysis.

Results:

The maximum pain intensity was recalled with a moderate accuracy (Intraclass Correlation Coefficients = 0.68 for dominant and 0.59 for non-dominant hands). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that maximum pain intensity ( P  < 0.001) and pain catastrophizing ( P  < 0.001) contributed significantly to recalled pain intensity, and only pain catastrophizing contributed significantly ( P  < 0.001) to percentage distortion in recalling with positive β-coefficients. Participants who consistently overrated pain for both hands in recalling scored significantly higher on catastrophizing ( P  < 0.001).

Conclusion:

This study demonstrated that memory for painful events in healthy subjects was reasonably accurate over a period of 1 week. Pain catastrophizing biased pain recall, whereas among personality traits only neuroticism exhibited a weak positive association with the recalled ratings.

KEYWORDS:

Acute Pain; Catastrophizing; Cold Pressor Test; Experimental Pain; Pain Memory; Personality Traits

PMID:
27282592
DOI:
10.1093/pm/pnw123
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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