Twenty married chronic pain patients (pain duration 8 mo.) consecutively admitted to a pain management program were administered a taped structured interview designed to elucidate the responses of their spouses to pain behavior. Additionally, patients were required to report their pain levels in two different observational conditions: when observed by their spouse and when observed by a “neutral observer”, the ward clerk. Those patients who reported that their spouses were relatively non-solicitous in responding to pain behavior reported significantly lower pain levels in the spouse-observing condition than in the neutral-observer condition. Patients who reported that their spouses were relatively solicitous in responding to pain behavior reported marginally higher levels of pain in the spouse-observing condition than in the neutral-observer condition.
*Address correspondence to: A.R. Block, Clinical Coordinator, Behavioral Medicine Unit of Dartmouth Medical School, Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Vt. 05301, U.S.A.
2This experiment submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements of Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Dartmouth College.
1The authors wish to thank Rogers Elliott for critically reviewing a previous draft of this article, and Kathy Waite for her help in manuscript preparation.
3Dr. Kremer is now at: Department of Psychiatry (C-418 CTF), University Hospital, 225 W. Dickinson Street, San Diego, Calif. 92103.
Submitted February 5, 1980; accepted June 18, 1980.
This paper was presented as a poster session at the first annual convention of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Francisco, Calif., December, 1979.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.