CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE

MIND-BODY CONNECTION

PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINE

Psychoneuroendocrine:  Research Article

Psychoneuroendocrine Menu

Stress and Pain Behavior
   
CITATION: Lauren Schwartz, Mark A. Slater, and Gary R. Birchler.  (1994).  Interpersonal Stress and Pain Behaviors in Patients with Chronic Pain.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 62, No. 4, 861-864  

ABSTRACT:  This study was designed to empirically evaluate the role of interpersonal stress in eliciting pain behavior. Thirty-four married male patients with chronic back pain (CBP) and their wives participated in a randomized between-groups study examining the effects oft interactional conditions (i.e., maritally focused stress interview and neutral talking control task) on subsequent persistence in a physically demanding task and with self-reports of pain. Results indicated that a significantly greater proportion of patients in the stress interview group terminated the physical activity task prematurely, compared with controls. The findings provide some of the first experimental support for the notion that uncomfortable interpersonal interactions may increase the likelihood of subsequent pain behavior in patients with CBP. Clinical implications and directions for future research are addressed.

References

Beck, A. T, Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erlbaugh, J. (196I ). An Inventory for Measuring Depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 461-571.

Bergner, M., Bobbitt, R. A., Carter, W. B., & Gilson, B. S. (1981). The Sickness Impact Profile: Development and final revision of a health status measure. Medical Care, 19787-805.

Block, A. R., Kremer, E. F., & Gaylor, M. (1980). Behavioral treatment of chronic pain: The spouse as a discriminant cue for pain behavior. Pain, 9, 243-252.

Dimsdale, J. E., Stern, M. J., & Dillon, E. (1988). The stress interview as a tool for examining physiological reactivity. Psychosomatic Medi-cine, 50, 64-71.

Flor, H., & Turk, D. C. (1989). Psychophysiology of chronic pain: Do chronic pain patients exhibit symptom specific psychophysiological responses? Psychological Bulletin, 105, 215-259.

Fordyce, W. E. (1976). Behavioral methods in chronic pain and illness. St. Louis, MO: Mosby. 

Lousberg, R., Schmidt, A. J. M., & Groenman, N. H. (1992). The relationship between spouse solicitousness and pain behavior: Searching for more evidence. Pain, 51, 75-79.

Romano, J. M., Turner, J. A., Friedman, L. S., Bulchroft, R. A., Jensen, M. P., Hyman, H., & Wright, S. F. (1992). Sequential analysis of chronic pain behaviors and spouse responses. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 60, 777-782.

Roy, R. (1985). The interactional perspective of pain behaviour in marriage. International Journal of Family Therapy, 7, 271-283.

Schwartz, L. (1992). The relationship between interpersonal stress and pain behaviors in chronic pain couples. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, San Diego.

Schwartz, L., Birchler, G. R., & Slater, M. A. (1990, November). The role of pain behaviors in the modulation of negative affect in chronic pain patients. Paper presented at the 24th annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, San Francisco.

Slater, M. A., & Good, A. B. (1990, November). Physiologic mechanisms in the adaptation to chronic pain. Paper presented at the 24th annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, San Francisco.

Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38. 15-28.