Optimism Moderates the Influence of Pain Catastrophizing on Shoulder Pain Outcome: A Longitudinal Analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Study Design Secondary analysis of prospectively collected data. Background An abundance of evidence has highlighted the influence of pain catastrophizing and fear avoidance on clinical outcomes. Less is known about the interaction of positive psychological resources with these pain-associated distress factors. Objective To assess whether optimism moderates the influence of pain catastrophizing and fear avoidance on 3-month clinical outcomes in patients with shoulder pain. Methods Data from 63 individuals with shoulder pain (mean ± SD age, 38.8 ± 14.9 years; 30 female) were examined. Demographic, psychological, and clinical characteristics were obtained at baseline. Validated measures were used to assess optimism (Life Orientation Test-Revised), pain catastrophizing (Pain Catastrophizing Scale), fear avoidance (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire physical activity subscale), shoulder pain intensity (Brief Pain Inventory), and shoulder function (Pennsylvania Shoulder Score function subscale). Shoulder pain and function were reassessed at 3 months. Regression models assessed the influence of (1) pain catastrophizing and optimism and (2) fear avoidance and optimism. The final multivariable models controlled for factors of age, sex, education, and baseline scores, and included 3-month pain intensity and function as separate dependent variables. Results Shoulder pain (mean difference, -1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.1, -1.2) and function (mean difference, 2.4; 95% CI: 0.3, 4.4) improved over 3 months. In multivariable analyses, there was an interaction between pain catastrophizing and optimism (β = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.35) for predicting 3-month shoulder function (F = 16.8, R2 = 0.69, P<.001), but not pain (P = .213). Further examination of the interaction with the Johnson-Neyman technique showed that higher levels of optimism lessened the influence of pain catastrophizing on function. There was no evidence of significant moderation of fear-avoidance beliefs for 3-month shoulder pain (P = .090) or function (P = .092). Conclusion Optimism decreased the negative influence of pain catastrophizing on shoulder function, but not pain intensity. Optimism did not alter the influence of fear-avoidance beliefs on these outcomes. Level of Evidence Prognosis, level 2b. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(1):21-30. Epub 5 Nov 2016. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7068.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Coronado, RA; Simon, CB; Lentz, TA; Gay, CW; Mackie, LN; George, SZ

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 21 - 30

PubMed ID

  • 27819191

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-1344

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2519/jospt.2017.7068


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States