To examine the relationship between social desirability and self- report in data collected from chronic pain patients.
A multidisciplinary pain management center located in a major university medical center.
Two hundred persons presenting with chronic pain, including low back, head/neck, and extremity pain.
Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, Beck Depression Inventory—Short Form, Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory, Psychosomatic Symptom Checklist, McGill Pain Questionnaire, Pain Disability Index, Quality of Life Scale, Pain Drawing.
Results and Conclusions:
Correlations showed that patients with greater social desirability response bias reported less depression and anxiety but higher levels of pain severity. When depression effects were controlled in a regression analysis, social desirability correlated positively with self-reported disability. These results show systematic response patterns associated with social desirability, suggesting that social desirability response biases should be considered in both research and clinical assessments of chronic pain patients.