Pain-related catastrophizing in pain patients and people with pain in the general population.
SourceEuropean Journal of Pain, 16, 7, (2012), pp. 1044-1052
1 augustus 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Pain
SubjectNCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases
BACKGROUND: Catastrophizing is a defining factor in the pain experience and strongly contributes to the prediction of various aspects of health. Catastrophizing is not just present in pain patients, but may also be present in people with non-clinical pain. The aim of the present study is to investigate levels of catastrophizing in pain patients and people with pain from the general population. Also, the relationship between catastrophizing and pain intensity, specialist consultation and use of pain medication is studied. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey design was used, including 150 pain patients and 376 respondents from the general population. RESULTS: The results show that pain is highly prevalent in the general population. The pain patients reported significantly higher levels of pain intensity and catastrophizing than the community pain sample. In both samples, significant positive correlations between catastrophizing and pain intensity were found. The data show a linear relationship between catastrophizing and pain intensity, which can be interpreted as evidence for a dose-response pattern in pain-related catastrophizing. Furthermore, catastrophizing predicted specialist consultation and medication use in the community pain sample. CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that pain-related catastrophizing is present in pain patients as well as people with pain from the general population in a dose-response pattern. Catastrophizing seems to be an important factor determining certain aspects of pain-related medical consumption, even in non-clinical pain, and should therefore be a target of the screening procedure and early intervention.
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