Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine pain anxiety after acquired brain injury (ABI) and its relationship to rehabilitation outcomes.Materials and Method: Participants consisted of 89 adults with an ABI participating in outpatient rehabilitation therapy. They completed a battery of neuropsychological tests at baseline along with surveys of mood, health-related self-efficacy, and pain anxiety. Separately, occupational therapists assessed basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs) as well as therapy engagement across treatment after the sixth session.Results: Individuals who reported high pain anxiety had fewer years of formal education, lower self-efficacy, and more emotional distress than those with low pain anxiety. Although Blacks were about half (56%) of the study sample, they comprised the majority (73.1%) of individuals in the high pain anxiety group. Pain anxiety was negatively related to therapy engagement. Moderation analysis using linear regression indicated that pain anxiety moderated the influence of self-efficacy on basic ADLs.Conclusions: Pain anxiety, particularly when high, is negatively associated with rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with ABI. Among those with high pain anxiety, health-related self-efficacy is an important resilience characteristic to improve functional outcomes. In rehabilitation therapy, pain anxiety provides a novel intervention target to enhance ABI recovery.
Keywords: Acquired Brain Injury; Pain Anxiety; functional Outcomes; self-Efficacy; therapy Engagement.