Original Article | Open Access
Nathalie Gauthier, Pascal Thibault, Michael JL Sullivan, "Catastrophizers with Chronic Pain Display more Pain Behaviour when in a Relationship with a Low Catastrophizing Spouse", Pain Research and Management, vol. 16, Article ID 247940, 7 pages, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/247940
Catastrophizers with Chronic Pain Display more Pain Behaviour when in a Relationship with a Low Catastrophizing Spouse
The present study examined the relationship between couple concordance of catastrophizing and adverse pain outcomes. Possible mechanisms underlying the relationship between couple concordance of catastrophizing and pain outcomes were also explored. Fifty-eight couples were recruited for the study. The chronic pain patients were filmed while lifting a series of weighted canisters. The spouse was later invited to view the video and answer questions about the pain experience of their partner. Median splits on Pain Catastrophizing Scale scores were used to create four ‘catastrophizing concordance’ groups: low catastrophizing patient-low catastrophizing spouse; low catastrophizing patient-high catastrophizing spouse; high catastrophizing patient-low catastrophizing spouse; and high catastrophizing patient-high catastrophizing spouse. Analyses revealed that high catastrophizing pain patients who were in a relationship with a low catastrophizing spouse displayed more pain behaviours than patients in all other groups. These findings suggest that high catastrophizing chronic pain patients may need to increase the ‘volume’ of pain communication to compensate for low catastrophizing spouses’ tendency to underestimate the severity of their pain experience. Patients’ perceived solicitousness and punitive response from the spouse could not explain the group differences in pain behaviour. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.
Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.