Pain catastrophizing and anxiety are associated with heat pain perception in a community sample of adults with chronic pain

Marisa J. Terry, Susan M. Moeschler, Bryan C. Hoelzer, W. Michael Hooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The principle aim of this study was to investigate the associations between heat pain (HP) perception, pain catastrophizing, and pain-related anxiety in a heterogenous cohort of community-dwelling adults with chronic pain admitted to a 3-week outpatient pain rehabilitation program. Methods: All adults consecutively admitted to an outpatient pain rehabilitation program from July 2009 through January 2011 were eligible for study recruitment (n=574). Upon admission, patients completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), the short version of the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale (PASS-20), and HP perception was assessed using a standardized quantitative sensory testing (QST) method of levels. Results: Greater PCS scores were significantly correlated with lower standardized values of HP threshold (HP 0.5) (P=0.006) and tolerance (HP 5) (P=0.003). In a multiple variable model adjusted for demographic and clinical factors known to influence HP perception, every 10-point increase in the PCS was associated with a0.124 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.014) and a0.142 change in HP 5 (P=0.014) indicating that participants with higher PCS scores had lower HP thresholds and tolerances, respectively. Similarly, greater PASS-20 scores significantly correlated with lower standardized values of HP 0.5 and HP 5. In a multiple variable model, every 10-point increase in the PASS-20 was associated with a0.084 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.005) and a0.116 point change in HP 5 (P=0.001) indicating that participants with higher PASS-20 scores had lower HP thresholds and tolerances, respectively. Conclusions: The findings of this study extend the use of a standardized method for assessing HP in a heterogenous sample of adults with chronic pain. Although pain catastrophizing shares significant variance with pain-related anxiety, our findings suggest that either measure would be appropriate for use in future studies that incorporate the QST method of levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-881
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Pain anxiety
  • Pain catastrophizing
  • Quantitative sensory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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