Emotional regulation and acute pain perception in women

J Pain. 2010 Jun;11(6):564-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.09.011. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


Emotional regulation is an important variable in the experience of pain. Currently, there are no experimental investigations of the relation between emotional regulation and pain. The goal of the present study work was to analyze differences in pain perception and mood generated by the cold-pressor (CPT) experimental paradigm in women with high and low emotional regulation. Two groups of women were formed as a function of their level of emotional regulation: women with high emotional repair (N = 24) and women with low emotional repair (N = 28), all of whom performed the CPT. The results show that the women with a high score in emotional repair reported having experienced less sensory pain and affective pain during the immersion, as well as a more positive affective state before beginning the task. During the experimental task, they also reported a better mood, thus displaying lower impact of the experience of pain.

Perspective: Emotional regulation is proposed as a key element to manage the emotional reaction that accompanies the experience of acute pain experimentally induced by the CPT experimental paradigm in a sample of healthy women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Affect*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychological Tests
  • Young Adult