The fear-avoidance model of chronic pain: Assessing the role of neuroticism and negative affect in pain catastrophizing using structural equation modeling

Wing Sze WONG, Hiu Ming John LAM, Phoon Ping CHEN, Yu Fat CHOW, Steven WONG, Huey Sing LIM, Mark P. JENSEN, Richard FIELDING

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Abstract

Background: Previous research on the fear-avoidance model (FAM) of chronic pain suggests that the personality traits of neuroticism and negative affect (NA) influence pain catastrophizing. However, the mechanisms of their influence on pain catastrophizing remain unclear. Purpose: This study examined four possible models of relationships between neuroticism, NA, and pain catastrophizing within the FAM framework using structural equation modeling. Method: A total of 401 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain completed measures of neuroticism, NA, three core FAM components (pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, and pain anxiety), and adjustment outcomes (pain-related disability and depression). Results: Regression analyses refuted the possibility that neuroticism and NA moderated each other’s effect on pain catastrophic thoughts (p > 0.05). Results of structural equation modeling (SEM) evidenced superior data-model fit for the collapsed models in which neuroticism and NA were two secondary traits underlying a latent construct, negative emotion (disability: comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.93; depression: CFI = 0.91). Conclusion: The results offer preliminary evidence that patients presenting with more neurotic symptom and heightened NA probably elicit more catastrophic thoughts about pain. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-131
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Catastrophization
Chronic Pain
Fear
Pain
Depression
Social Adjustment
Musculoskeletal Pain
Personality
Neuroticism
Emotions
Anxiety
Regression Analysis
Research

Citation

Wong, W. S., Lam, H. M. J., Chen, P. P., Chow, Y. F., Wong, S. Lim, H. S., et al. (2015). The fear-avoidance model of chronic pain: Assessing the role of neuroticism and negative affect in pain catastrophizing using structural equation modeling. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22(1), 118-131.

Keywords

  • Fear-avoidance modell
  • Neuroticism
  • Negative affect
  • Structural equation modeling