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Title: The mediating effects of meaning on adjustment to chronic pain
Author: Zvezdanova-Bove, Marina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 926X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Chronic pain is described as pain that persists beyond the time we would expect normal healing to occur, usually beyond three months for most tissue. Chronic pain is associated with increased prevalence of psychological symptoms. Despite high prevalence rates of mood disorders among those who are affected. by chronic pain, most estimates indicate that the majority of people do not experience clinically significant symptoms and adjust to the stresses associated with the condition. This observation has given rise to hypotheses about psychological factors that may mediate the effect of a chronic stressor such as chronic pain, on subjective well-being. Meaning refers to an individual's understanding of the implications a chronic health condition has on self, relationships with others, priorities, and future goals. Research has indicated that the presence of meaning is associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression amongst those who are affected by a chronic health condition. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between meaning, chronic pain, distress, well-being and pain-related cognitions in a sample of participants who were experiencing chronic pain. 74 participants, attending two Outpatient Pain Management and Physiotherapy Clinics, completed measures of pain severity, interference, meaning in life, well-being, pain-related cognitions, and distress. Findings indicated a significant association between pain interference, and psychological distress, as well as between pain interference, well-being and the integration of meaning. Unlike pain interference, pain severity was not found to be significantly related either to presence of meaning or to absence of search for· meaning. Findings also indicated that integration of meaning moderated the relationship between pain interference and distress, even after 3 taking into account the impact of pain-related cognitions on levels of psychological distress. Contrary to predictions, absence of search for meaning was not found to mediate the relationship between these variables. Overall, findings indicated that meaning has a significant impact on how well people adjust to experiencing chronic pain, even after pain-related cognitions are taken into account. Theoretical and clinical implications as well as strengths and limitations of the study are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available