Can attitudes of stoicism and cautiousness explain observed age-related variation in levels of self-rated pain, mood disturbance and functional interference in chronic pain patients?

Eur J Pain. 2006 Jul;10(5):399-407. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2005.05.004. Epub 2005 Jun 21.


The aims of the present study were (a) to examine the relationship between age, attitudes and self-reported pain and suffering in a sample of chronic pain patients and (b) to determine the extent to which attitudes of stoicism and cautiousness might mediate between age and chronic pain experience. Psychometric measures were administered to 338 chronic pain patients. The results indicate that there were significant relationships between both age and attitudes with measures of pain, mood disturbance and functional interference. Attitudes were found to provide either a full or partial mediation of the relationship between age and various measures of chronic pain experience, thus emphasizing the importance of including these cognitive variables for clinical assessment. It appears that attitudes of stoicism may be more important than age as a predictor of self-reported pain severity. However, with respect to mood and functional disturbance, age and perhaps, other age-related factors, remain important additional predictors.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attitude*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / psychology*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement