Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 281–292 | Cite as

Spousal autonomy support, need satisfaction, and well-being in individuals with chronic pain: A longitudinal study

  • Ahmet Uysal
  • Esra Ascigil
  • Gamze Turunc


The present research examined the effect of spousal autonomy support on the need satisfaction and well-being of individuals with chronic pain. Married individuals with a diagnosed musculoskeletal chronic pain condition (N = 109) completed a baseline questionnaire and a follow-up questionnaire after a 6-month time period. Cross-lagged analyses indicated that spousal autonomy support predicted increases in basic need satisfaction, and need satisfaction predicted increases in well-being. Moreover, the analyses in the opposite direction were not significant. Similarly, cross-lagged analyses were more supportive of the direction from pain intensity to lower well-being, rather than well-being to pain intensity. Finally, we tested a longitudinal structural model using pain intensity and spousal autonomy support as the predictors, basic needs as the mediator, and well-being as the outcome. The model provided a good fit to the data. Results showed that spousal autonomy support had a positive effect on the need satisfaction and well-being of individuals with chronic pain, independent of pain intensity. These findings extend self-determination theory to the chronic pain context and lay the groundwork for future chronic pain studies using the self-determination theory framework.


Chronic pain Self-determination theory Need satisfaction Autonomy support Spousal support Well-being 



We would like to thank Baskent University Hospital and Dr. Sacide Nur Cosar for their help with the data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Ahmet Uysal, Esra Ascigil, and Gamze Turunc declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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