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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2017, Article ID 9762864, 8 pages
Research Article

Pain Catastrophizing and Its Relationship with Health Outcomes: Does Pain Intensity Matter?

1Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, Spain
2Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CB06/03), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
3Pain Clinic, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Carlos Suso-Ribera; se.iju@rosus

Received 3 January 2017; Accepted 6 February 2017; Published 28 February 2017

Academic Editor: Gerrit Hirschfeld

Copyright © 2017 Carlos Suso-Ribera 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.


Pain catastrophizing is known to contribute to physical and mental functioning, even when controlling for the effect of pain intensity. However, research has yet to explore whether the strength of the relationship between pain catastrophizing and pain-related outcomes varies across pain intensity levels (i.e., moderation). If this was the case, it would have important implications for existing models of pain and current interventions. The present investigation explored whether pain intensity moderates the relationship between pain catastrophizing and pain-related outcomes. Participants were 254 patients (62% women) with heterogeneous chronic pain. Patients completed a measure of pain intensity, pain interference, pain catastrophizing, and physical and mental health. Pain intensity moderated the relationship between pain catastrophizing and pain interference and between pain catastrophizing and physical health status. Specifically, the strength of the correlation between pain catastrophizing and these outcomes decreased considerably as pain intensity increased. In contrast, pain intensity did not moderate the relationship between pain catastrophizing and mental health. Study findings provide a new insight into the role of pain intensity (i.e., moderator) in the relationship between pain catastrophizing and various pain-related outcomes, which might help develop existent models of pain. Clinical implications are discussed in the context of personalized therapy.