The “self” in pain: the role of psychological inflexibility in chronic pain adjustment
- 829 Downloads
Self-discrepancy occurs when a person feels the failure to fulfill one’s hopes or responsibilities. Although self-discrepancy has been widely examined to elucidate patients’ chronic pain adjustment, the underlying mechanism is unclear. The present study proposes that the effect of self-discrepancy on pain outcomes is accounted for by psychological inflexibility, which involves the psychological processes that guide behaviors in the pursuit of goals and values. One-hundred patients with chronic pain were recruited from a public hospital. They were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview regarding their self-discrepancy and complete self-reported questionnaires regarding their psychological inflexibility and pain outcomes. The results confirmed that psychological inflexibility partly accounts for the variance observed between self-discrepancy and pain outcomes. The current study provides additional insight into the mechanism underpinning the impact of self-discrepancy on patients’ pain adjustment and offers clinical implications regarding the use of acceptance commitment therapy for chronic pain management.
KeywordsChronic pain Self-discrepancy Psychological inflexibility Acceptance Goal pursuit
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Silvia Sze Wai Kwok, Esther Chin Chi Chan, Phoon Ping Chen and Barbara Chuen Yee Lo declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and Informed consent
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1182, 1173.Google Scholar
- Bond, F. W., Hayes, S. C., Baer, R. A., Carpenter, K. M., Guenole, N., Orcutt, H. K., & Zettle, R. D. (2011). Preliminary psychometric properties of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire–II: A revised measure of psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance. Behavior Therapy, 42, 676–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cao, J., Yang, J., & Zhu, Z.-H. (2013). Reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-Second Edition (AAQ-II) in college students. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 27, 873–877.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Huijnen, I. P., Kindermans, H. P., Seelen, H. A., Peters, M. L., Smeets, R. J., Serroyen, J., & Verbunt, J. A. (2011). Effects of self-discrepancies on activity-related behaviour: Explaining disability and quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain. Pain, 152, 2165–2172.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- International Association for the Study of Pain. (1986). Classification of chronic pain: Descriptions of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms. Pain Supplement, 3, S1–S226.Google Scholar