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, 66 (3), 209-15

Personality Traits in Chronic Pain Patients Are Associated With Low Acceptance and Catastrophizing About Pain

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Personality Traits in Chronic Pain Patients Are Associated With Low Acceptance and Catastrophizing About Pain

C Poppe et al. Acta Clin Belg.

Abstract

Objective: Pain acceptance is considered important for mental well-being with better functional outcomes for chronic pain patients. The present study explored whether pain-related variables (pain severity, pain interference, pain duration, and pain catastrophizing) and non-pain-related variables (personality traits) influence acceptance and additionally examined the interrelationship between the influencing variables and acceptance.

Methods: One hundred patients with chronic pain from a multidisciplinary pain centre completed self-report questionnaires on acceptance, pain severity, interference of life, pain duration, pain catastrophizing, and personality.

Results: Pain severity, pain interference, and pain duration had no significant correlations with acceptance. Pain catastrophizing and most personality traits were significantly and negatively related to acceptance. Regression analyses revealed that of all personality traits, the avoidant personality trait explains most variance of acceptance. Subsequent mediation analysis indicated that catastrophizing about pain mediated the relationship between the avoidant personality trait and acceptance.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that acceptance is influenced by catastrophizing and avoidant personality traits. The clinical implication might be that acceptance-oriented treatments may prove less successful in chronic pain patients with more pronounced avoidant personality traits. Extra focus on a reduction of the frequency of pain catastrophizing might be helpful.

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