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Title: How do partners' beliefs about chronic pain relate to patients' acceptance of pain?
Author: Mcdougall, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 4439
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: It is now widely acknowledged that pain acceptance predicts a wide range of functional outcomes in chronic pain patients. Whilst there has been considerable research into individual factors that contribute to acceptance, little is known about the impact of social relationships on this process. Aims: This thesis aims to explore how spouse’s beliefs about pain, and their responses to patients when in pain, impact on patient acceptance. Second, the role of catastrophic thinking and acceptance will be explored in relation to psychological distress. Method: A cross-sectional survey design was used with 61 patients and their partners recruited at a specialist chronic pain service. Patients completed the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire, the Pain Catastrophising Scale, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in addition to measures of pain severity, functional disability, and socio-demographic information. Partners completed the spouse version of the Pain Catastrophising Scale which explores their beliefs about their partner’s pain. Results: Both depressive and anxious symptoms were common in this sample, with 49% and 58% respectively experiencing at least mild symptoms. Pain catastrophising and acceptance scores were significantly correlated with psychological distress, functional disability and pain severity. After adjusting for confounders, the CPAQ was a significant predictor of depression but not anxiety. Pain catastrophising was a significant predictor of both depression and anxiety. The addition of spouse catastrophising significantly improved the model for the prediction of anxiety. Patient and spouse catastrophising scores were both significant independent predictors of acceptance after adjusting for confounders. There was a significant effect of the interaction between patient and spouse catastrophising on acceptance, such that when patient catastrophising was low, low catastrophising in spouses was associated with greater acceptance, but when patient catastrophising was high, catastrophising in spouses had no effect. Neither the CPAQ total score nor its subscales were significantly correlated with spouse responses to pain. Conclusions: These findings suggest that spouse catastrophising can impact on both patient acceptance and psychological distress. Understanding a spouse’s beliefs about their partner’s pain may be an important factor in achieving greater acceptance in patients.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Clin.Psy.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available