Psychological resilience, pain catastrophizing, and positive emotions: perspectives on comprehensive modeling of individual pain adaptation

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2013 Mar;17(3):317. doi: 10.1007/s11916-012-0317-4.


Pain is a complex construct that contributes to profound physical and psychological dysfunction, particularly in individuals coping with chronic pain. The current paper builds upon previous research, describes a balanced conceptual model that integrates aspects of both psychological vulnerability and resilience to pain, and reviews protective and exacerbating psychosocial factors to the process of adaptation to chronic pain, including pain catastrophizing, pain acceptance, and positive psychological resources predictive of enhanced pain coping. The current paper identifies future directions for research that will further enrich the understanding of pain adaptation and espouses an approach that will enhance the ecological validity of psychological pain coping models, including introduction of advanced statistical and conceptual models that integrate behavioral, cognitive, information processing, motivational and affective theories of pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Catastrophization*
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Resilience, Psychological*