Pain resilience moderates the influence of negative pain beliefs on movement-evoked pain in older adults

  • Shreela PalitEmail author
  • Roger B. Fillingim
  • Emily J. Bartley


Negative pain beliefs are associated with adverse pain outcomes; however, less is known regarding how positive, adaptive factors influence pain and functioning. These relationships are especially important to examine in older adults with pain, given increased disability and functional limitations in this population. We investigated whether pain resilience moderated the relationships between negative pain beliefs (fear-avoidance, pain catastrophizing) and pain outcomes (functional performance, movement-evoked pain) in sixty older adults with low back pain. Higher pain resilience was associated with lower fear-avoidance (p < .05) and pain catastrophizing (p = .05). After controlling for demographic variables, higher fear-avoidance (p = .03) and catastrophizing (p = .03) were associated with greater movement-evoked pain in individuals with low pain resilience, but not among those high in resilience. No significant moderation effects were observed for functional performance. Resilience may attenuate the relationship between negative psychological processes and pain-related disability, highlighting the need for interventions that enhance pain resilience in older adults.


Back pain Resilience Movement-evoked pain Functional performance Fear-avoidance Pain catastrophizing 



Research reported in this publication was supported by NIH/NIA Grant (K99AG052642) awarded to EJB and NIH/NIA Grant (T32AG049673) provided to the University of Florida (SP). Dr. Bartley is currently funded by NIH/NIA Grant (R00AG052642). The authors would like to thank Ralisa Pop, Stephanie Hersman, Morgan Ingram, Jordan McGee, Kylie Broskus, Paige McKenzie, and Michelle Jacomino for their assistance with data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Shreela Palit, Roger B. Fillingim and Emily J. Bartley declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE), College of DentistryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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