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Systematic Analyses of the Effects of Acceptance on Tolerance of Radiant Heat Pain

Abstract

Numerous studies have demonstrated the utility of acceptance-based strategies for coping with pain. The current research comprised three studies (N = 186) that compared the effects of acceptance, distraction, and placebo protocols on the distress and tolerance of experimentally induced radiant heat pain. In Experiment 1, an acceptance intervention was associated with a significant increase in tolerance relative to baseline, distraction was not, and placebo was associated with a significant decrease. Experiment 1A comprised a revised Distraction 2 intervention that was compared with the original acceptance and placebo groups from Experiment 1. This explored the potential impact of defusion on the previous outcome for distraction. Indeed, the results indicated that Distraction 2 was not associated with increased tolerance. In Experiment 2, the Swamp Metaphor was removed from each intervention, but this had no direct impact on outcomes. Again, acceptance showed a significant increase in pain tolerance; distraction did not. The current research offers the first componential analysis of acceptance and distraction in the context of radiant heat pain.

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Correspondence to Yvonne Barnes-Holmes.

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Kehoe, A., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D. et al. Systematic Analyses of the Effects of Acceptance on Tolerance of Radiant Heat Pain. Psychol Rec 64, 41–51 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40732-014-0003-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40732-014-0003-5

Keywords

  • Acceptance
  • Distraction
  • Radiant heat pain