Current Pain and Headache Reports

, 17:312

Disposition and Adjustment to Chronic Pain

Psychiatric Management of Pain (MR Clark, Section editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-012-0312-9

Cite this article as:
Ramírez-Maestre, C. & Esteve, R. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2013) 17: 312. doi:10.1007/s11916-012-0312-9
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychiatric Management of Pain


Several empirical studies have shown that personal characteristics act as differential variables, which determine how pain is experienced and how the chronic pain patient adjusts to pain. The main aim of the present research is to review the relationships between some dispositional characteristics and pain adjustment. Taking into account the empirical literature, 6 personality traits that are relevant to the pain experience have been selected: neuroticism, anxiety sensitivity, and experiential avoidance as risk factors that increase the probability of patients experiencing a disability; and extraversion, optimism, and resilience as personal resources that increase their capacity to manage pain effectively. The results suggest that it would be useful to include an assessment of normal personality structure during the multi-dimensional evaluation of a person with chronic pain. Understanding these individual personality characteristics will aid in designing pain intervention programs and help predict possible treatment outcomes.


PersonalityExtraversionNeuroticismOptimismResilienceAnxiety SensitivityExperiential avoidanceChronic painAdjustment

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamiento Psicológico, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain