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J Behav Med. 2019 Oct;42(5):934-946. doi: 10.1007/s10865-019-00019-2. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Maintenance of affective wellbeing following acute pain in healthy older and younger adults.

Author information

1
Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA. ian.boggero@uky.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 111-B Kastle Hall, 171 Funkhouser Dr., Lexington, KY, 40506, USA. ian.boggero@uky.edu.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 111-B Kastle Hall, 171 Funkhouser Dr., Lexington, KY, 40506, USA.

Abstract

Over 70% of older adults report chronic or acute pain, and pain threatens affective wellbeing. The strategies older adults use to maintain affective wellbeing following acute pain remain unknown. Specific strategies that can be used to manage pain include recalling, recognizing, and responding to positive stimuli and prioritizing close over knowledgeable social partners. The study tested whether older adults used positivity-enhancing strategies and maintained affective wellbeing following acute pain better than younger adults. Fifty older (ages 65-85) and 50 younger (ages 18-30) pain-free adults experienced a control and a pain condition and were given the chance to employ positivity-enhancing strategies. Older and younger adults similarly used positivity-enhancing strategies following pain. Younger adults demonstrated reduced preference for knowledgeable social partners after experiencing pain. Pain-related affective changes were similar between age groups. Older and younger adults may cope with acute pain similarly, highlighting future directions for exploring age differences in pain coping.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cold-pressor; Executive function; Heart rate variability; Socioemotional selectivity

PMID:
30790212
PMCID:
PMC6703978
[Available on 2020-10-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10865-019-00019-2

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