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Painfully reassuring? The effects of validation on emotions and adherence in a pain test

SJ Linton, K Boersma, Karoline Vangronsveld UGent and A Fruzzetti (2012) EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN. 16(4). p.592-599
abstract
Communicating reassurance to patients with musculoskeletal pain complaints, but no red flags, presents a dilemma of dampening worry while refraining from reinforcing undue pain behaviors. Previous research shows that reassurance does not decrease negative affect and may be perceived as not taking the symptoms seriously. Validation offers an alternative where the patient's experiences and feelings are acknowledged and has demonstrated, for other problems, a decrease in arousal which may set the stage for behavioral change. The purpose of this study was to investigate experimentally whether validation, as compared to invalidation, impacts on emotions and adherence during repeated pain tests. To this end, 50 participants were randomized to either a validation or invalidation condition. Each participant was told they would undergo four pain trials involving holding a bucket at arm's length to tolerance. During the inter-trial interval, the experimenter provided validating or invalidating responses according to the randomization. As a proxy measure of adherence subjects were asked to engage in an additional pain test. Results indicated that validation relative to invalidation resulted in significantly more positive affect and significantly less worry. Both groups had reductions in negative affect over the trials, but there were no difference between the groups on negative affect or pain. However, adherence was more than twice as high in the validation group as compared to invalidation. These results show that a relatively simple validation procedure had significant and positive effects on emotion and increased adherence. Further research should extend these findings and explore their clinical application.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
CARE, RESPONSES, MANAGEMENT, COMMUNICATION, LOW-BACK-PAIN
journal title
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN
Eur. J. Pain
volume
16
issue
4
pages
592 - 599
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000305947000014
JCR category
ANESTHESIOLOGY
JCR impact factor
3.067 (2012)
JCR rank
7/29 (2012)
JCR quartile
1 (2012)
ISSN
1090-3801
DOI
10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.07.011
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
3005763
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-3005763
date created
2012-10-03 17:14:47
date last changed
2015-06-17 10:15:45
@article{3005763,
  abstract     = {Communicating reassurance to patients with musculoskeletal pain complaints, but no red flags, presents a dilemma of dampening worry while refraining from reinforcing undue pain behaviors. Previous research shows that reassurance does not decrease negative affect and may be perceived as not taking the symptoms seriously. Validation offers an alternative where the patient's experiences and feelings are acknowledged and has demonstrated, for other problems, a decrease in arousal which may set the stage for behavioral change. The purpose of this study was to investigate experimentally whether validation, as compared to invalidation, impacts on emotions and adherence during repeated pain tests. To this end, 50 participants were randomized to either a validation or invalidation condition. Each participant was told they would undergo four pain trials involving holding a bucket at arm's length to tolerance. During the inter-trial interval, the experimenter provided validating or invalidating responses according to the randomization. As a proxy measure of adherence subjects were asked to engage in an additional pain test. Results indicated that validation relative to invalidation resulted in significantly more positive affect and significantly less worry. Both groups had reductions in negative affect over the trials, but there were no difference between the groups on negative affect or pain. However, adherence was more than twice as high in the validation group as compared to invalidation. These results show that a relatively simple validation procedure had significant and positive effects on emotion and increased adherence. Further research should extend these findings and explore their clinical application.},
  author       = {Linton, SJ and Boersma, K and Vangronsveld, Karoline and Fruzzetti, A},
  issn         = {1090-3801},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN},
  keyword      = {CARE,RESPONSES,MANAGEMENT,COMMUNICATION,LOW-BACK-PAIN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {592--599},
  title        = {Painfully reassuring? The effects of validation on emotions and adherence in a pain test},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.07.011},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Linton, SJ, K Boersma, Karoline Vangronsveld, and A Fruzzetti. 2012. “Painfully Reassuring? The Effects of Validation on Emotions and Adherence in a Pain Test.” European Journal of Pain 16 (4): 592–599.
APA
Linton, S., Boersma, K., Vangronsveld, K., & Fruzzetti, A. (2012). Painfully reassuring? The effects of validation on emotions and adherence in a pain test. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN, 16(4), 592–599.
Vancouver
1.
Linton S, Boersma K, Vangronsveld K, Fruzzetti A. Painfully reassuring? The effects of validation on emotions and adherence in a pain test. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN. 2012;16(4):592–9.
MLA
Linton, SJ, K Boersma, Karoline Vangronsveld, et al. “Painfully Reassuring? The Effects of Validation on Emotions and Adherence in a Pain Test.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PAIN 16.4 (2012): 592–599. Print.