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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 3204914, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3204914
Research Article

Depressed Mood Differentially Mediates the Relationship between Pain Intensity and Pain Disability Depending on Pain Duration: A Moderated Mediation Analysis in Chronic Pain Patients

1Department of Psychology, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
2Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, 58448 Herdecke, Germany
3Interdisciplinary Pain Clinic, Weiden Hospital, 92637 Weiden, Germany
4Department of Anesthesiology, Weiden Hospital, 92637 Weiden, Germany
5Department of Neurology, Weiden Hospital, 92637 Weiden, Germany
6Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
7Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health, Danube University Krems, 3500 Krems, Austria

Received 14 March 2016; Revised 13 April 2016; Accepted 5 May 2016

Academic Editor: Eldon R. Tunks

Copyright © 2016 Thomas Probst et al. 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.

Abstract

Research has shown that pain is associated with disability and that depressed mood mediates the relationship between pain and disability. The question of whether duration of pain moderates these effects was addressed in this cross-sectional study with 356 chronic pain patients. A simple mediation model replicated the notion that depressed mood explains a significant proportion of the relationship between pain and disability (in the study at hand: 12%). A moderated mediation model revealed that the indirect effect of pain on disability through depressed mood is moderated by pain duration: while depressed mood did not mediate the effect of pain on disability in chronic pain patients with shorter pain duration, depressed mood significantly mediated the effect pain exerts on disability in chronic pain patients with longer pain duration. Pain duration did not moderate the direct effect of pain on disability. Implications of these findings for the treatment of chronic pain might be that targeting depressed mood is especially relevant in chronic pain patients with longer pain duration to reduce the effect of pain on disability.