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Processes Underlying the Relation between Catastrophizing and Chronic Pain: Implications for Intervention 

Processes Underlying the Relation between Catastrophizing and Chronic Pain: Implications for Intervention
Chapter:
Processes Underlying the Relation between Catastrophizing and Chronic Pain: Implications for Intervention
Author(s):

Michael J.L. Sullivan

and Marc O. Martel

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199558902.003.0076
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date: 09 May 2021

Over the past two decades pain catastrophizing has emerged as one of the most robust psychological predictors of adverse pain outcomes. Recent research has begun to address the psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms that might underlie the relation between catastrophizing and pain outcomes. There are indications that psychological variables related to expectancies and attention might account, at least in part, for the relation between catastrophizing and pain outcomes. Some research suggests that catastrophic thinking might also impact directly on central mechanisms of pain control. Challenges for the future include the development of more targeted interventions for reducing catastrophic thinking. Future research on the relations between catastrophizing and central mechanisms of pain control might have implications for theoretical models that address the linkages between psychology and physiology in the modulation of pain experience.

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