In this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Thong and coworkers investigate the buffering role of positive affect on the association between pain and pain-related outcomes . Through a study of 101 patients with back or knee pain, they were able to demonstrate that more positive affect weakened the association between pain intensity, negative affect, and depression. Could positive affect be an unrecognized way to reduce the impact of pain for the individual chronic pain sufferer?1Target the consequences of chronic pain, not the pain itselfChronic pain is often associated with negative affect in various types and forms, the most commonly reported being depression . Furthermore, the consequences of pain may for many patients be a bigger burden than the pain itself. Qualitative studies lend support to this notion. In a recent phenomenological study the patients emphasized that it was not the physical pain itself but the psychosocial consequences – distress, loneliness, lost identity, and low quality of life – that bothered them the most . If these reports are representative for the large group of chronic pain sufferers, larger efforts should be directed towards limiting the consequences of pain rather than trying to reduce the pain itself in
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2017
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