Objectives: To understand relationships between pain-related beliefs and readiness to change among treatment-seeking adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain and their parents.
Methods: A total of 102 adolescent-parent dyads were recruited at the time of initial evaluation at a multidisciplinary pain management clinic. Dyads completed self-report measures to assess pain, catastrophizing, endorsement of a biopsychosocial perspective of pain, and readiness to change/motivation to adopt a self-management approach to pain coping.
Results: Agreement between adolescent-parent dyad reports of pain catastrophizing and readiness to change was found; however, adolescents were less likely to view pain as “affected by feelings and emotions” than parents. The hypothesis that greater pain catastrophizing would be correlated with less readiness to change was partially supported. Adolescent and parents who reported lower levels of endorsement of a biopsychosocial perspective were less willing to adopt a self-management approach to pain coping. Endorsement of a biopsychosocial perspective of pain aligned with readiness to change stages more consistently for parents.
Discussion: This study documents initial relationships among pain catastrophizing, biopsychosocial perspectives of pain, and readiness to engage in a self-management approach to pain coping for adolescents with chronic pain and their parents. Although agreement exists between dyads regarding catastrophizing and readiness to change, differences were noted in biopsychosocial perspective and dominant readiness to change stage before an initial pain clinic encounter. Findings are considered in terms of future research to advance knowledge regarding the role these factors may play in treatment adherence and outcomes.