Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

"Research on Psychological Factors in Pain"

“Psychosocial Factors May Predict Persistent Pain After Orthopaedic Trauma – J Pain. 2010;11:420-430.

Psychosocial factors may predict persistent pain after non_life-threatening acute orthopaedic trauma, according to the results of a study reported in the May issue of The Journal of Pain.

“The early identification of those at risk of ongoing pain is of particular importance for injured workers and compensation systems for whom pain management and durable return to work are important outcomes.. The study quantifies the association between a range of bio-psychosocial factors and the presence of persistent pain, pain severity and pain interfering with normal work activities in a cohort of 168 patients with a range of non-life-threatening orthopaedic injuries.”

More than half (54%) of participants reported having persistent pain at 6 months, and most (87%) reported having pain that interfered with their usual work activities. Significant independent predictors of pain outcomes were
high levels of initial pain, external attributions of responsibility for the injury, and psychological distress.

Pain-related work disability was also significantly predicted by poor recovery expectations, and pain severity was significantly predicted by being injured at work. Because many of these factors are potentially modifiable, the
clinician should be aware of them to be able to intervene appropriately to prevent the development of pain chronicity.”

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