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Pain Research and Management
Volume 18, Issue 6, Pages 286-292
Original Article

Spirometry-Related Pain and Distress in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cystic Fibrosis: The Role of Acceptance

Annabelle Casier,1 Liesbet Goubert,1 Tine Vervoort,1 Marleen Theunis,2 Danielle Huse,3 Frans De Baets,4 Dirk Matthys,4 and Geert Crombez1

1Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium
2Cystic Fibrosis Centre, University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
3Belgian Cystic Fibrosis Association, Brussels, Belgium
4University Hospital Ghent, Department of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, Ghent, Belgium

Copyright © 2013 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.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the occurrence of spirometry-related pain and distress in adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis (CF), and to investigate the role of acceptance of illness in spirometry-related pain and distress.

METHODS: A total of 36 adolescents and young adults with CF (12 to 22 years of age) completed a questionnaire assessing acceptance of illness. Spirometry-related distress was assessed using self-report (ie, anxiety/worry about the procedure) and physiological outcomes (ie, heart rate and heart rate variability) before spirometry. Spirometry-related pain was assessed using self-report (ie, expected pain and pain-related thoughts). Self-reported distress and pain during spirometry were also assessed.

RESULTS: Eighty-nine per cent of subjects reported distress before spirometry, 67% experienced distress during spirometry, 28% expected pain during spirometry and 22% actually experienced pain. Interestingly, partial correlations revealed that more acceptance was related to less expected pain and pain-related thoughts. Acceptance, however, was unrelated to distress, anxiety and pain during spirometry.

DISCUSSION: The present study suggests that a non-negligible number of adolescents and young adults with CF experience pain and distress during spirometry. Furthermore, results indicate that acceptance may play a protective role in the more indirect consequences of CF such as expected pain and pain-related thoughts during medical procedures. Acceptance, however, was not related to distress before and during spirometry, nor to experienced pain. These findings contribute to the increasing evidence that acceptance may play a protective role in managing the consequences of living with CF.