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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2018, Article ID 8713084, 5 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8713084
Research Article

Changes in Pain Perception following Psychotherapy: The Mediating Role of Psychological Components

1Clinical Psychology Service, ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Piazza Dell’Ospedale Maggiore 3, 20162 Milan, Italy
2Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Agostino Gemelli 1, 20123 Milan, Italy
3Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Francesco Pagnini; ti.ttacinu@iningap.ocsecnarf

Received 27 January 2018; Revised 5 March 2018; Accepted 7 March 2018; Published 19 April 2018

Academic Editor: Michihiro Osumi

Copyright © 2018 Susanna Zanini 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

Chronic pain is frequently associated with significant psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety. Psychological treatments, such as psychotherapy, can often alleviate both psychological and pain symptoms. However, there is limited research about the association between psychological symptoms and perceived pain in the context of psychotherapeutic interventions. We conducted a retrospective study that analyzed, in a hospital context, how changes in psychological functioning and well-being were associated with pain reduction. Thirty-seven records of patients with chronic pain attending psychotherapy in a public hospital were included. All patients were assessed before psychotherapy, as well as after 6 and 10 months, with self-reported questionnaires about pain, anxiety, depression, and psychological functioning. Results indicate that reductions in anxiety, depression, psychological problems, risk factors, and well-being are strongly related with a reduction in pain, further confirming the hypothesis that psychological morbidity is associated with pain severity.