Pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance are psychological factors that have been shown to be associated with pain-related outcomes and predict multidisciplinary pain treatment outcomes. However, they are rarely examined in the same study. This study aimed to: (1) assess the independent roles of pain catastrophizingand pain acceptance as predictors of pain intensity, pain interference, and depression; and (2) evaluate the potential moderating role of pain acceptance on the association between pain catastrophizing and both pain and function.
Materials and Methods:
A sample of 467 adults with chronic pain completed an online survey including measures of pain intensity, pain interference, depression, pain catastrophizing, and pain acceptance.
Pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance were independent predictors of pain interference. Only pain catastrophizing and the activity engagement domain of pain acceptance were independent predictors of pain intensity and depression. Activity engagement moderated the association between pain catastrophizing and depression, indicating a buffering effect on the negative effects of catastrophizing on depression. Pain willingness moderated the association between pain catastrophizing and pain interference, such that endorsing low pain willingness may override any negative effects of pain catastrophizing.
The findings suggest that pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance are independently important to adjustment to chronic pain. Research is needed to determine if treatments that target both for change are more effective than treatments that target only one.