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. M. Hooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

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 heterogeneous 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 a −0.124 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.014) and a −0.142 change in HP 5 (P=0.014) indicating that patients 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 a −0.084 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.005) and a −0.116 point change in HP 5 (P=0.001) indicating that patients 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 heterogeneous 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)
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 26 2015

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Catastrophization
Pain Perception
Chronic Pain
Anxiety
Hot Temperature
Pain
Pain Threshold
Outpatients
Rehabilitation
Independent Living

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Pain Catastrophizing and Anxiety are Associated with Heat Pain Perception in a Community Sample of Adults with Chronic Pain. / Terry, Marisa J.; Moeschler, Susan M.; Hoelzer, Bryan C.; Hooten, W. M.

In: Clinical Journal of Pain, 26.11.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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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 heterogeneous 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 a −0.124 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.014) and a −0.142 change in HP 5 (P=0.014) indicating that patients 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 a −0.084 point change in HP 0.5 (P=0.005) and a −0.116 point change in HP 5 (P=0.001) indicating that patients 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 heterogeneous 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.",
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