The Relationship Between Pain Psychological Factors and Job Stress in Rehabilitation Workers With or Without Chronic Pain

Work. 2018;61(3):357-365. doi: 10.3233/WOR-182814.


Background: Pain is affected by pain psychological factors (PPFs), whereas relationship between PPFs and job stress are unclear.

Objective: This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between PPFs and job stress in workers.

Methods: The study participants were the staff of the rehabilitation department of a core hospital. After undergoing a preliminary survey (38/43, 88% response rate), the rehabilitation workers were divided into the chronic pain group (CPG, n = 18) and the nonpain group (NPG, n = 13).

Results: Depression, anxiety, and magnification in the CPG were significantly associated with depressed mood and total stress response. Anxiety in the NPG was also significantly associated with all stress responses, except irritability and feelings of anxiety. Furthermore, all subscales of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale in the NPG were significantly and negatively associated with the vigor of stress responses.

Conclusions: Chronic pain in workers was associated with severe job stress, and increased job stress worsened the state of chronic pain. Pain catastrophizing may be associated with early job stress in a person with no pain. This finding revealed a difference between the CPG and NPG and may be important for managing workers with job stress or pain.

Keywords: Catastrophization; chronic pain; depression; medical staff; mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Pain / complications*
  • Chronic Pain / economics
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Stress / complications*
  • Occupational Stress / economics
  • Occupational Stress / psychology
  • Psychology*
  • Rehabilitation Centers / organization & administration
  • Rehabilitation Centers / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires