An empirical assessment of pain beliefs.


Journal Article

Pain beliefs represent patients' own conceptualizations of what pain is and what pain means for them. Such beliefs may be discordant with current scientific understanding and may serve to adversely affect compliance with modern methods of chronic pain treatment. This study attempts to assess several of the core dimensions around which pain beliefs develop and examines the relationship between pain beliefs and behavioral manifestations of the pain experience. An empirically and factorially derived product of this study, the Pain Beliefs and Perceptions Inventory (PBAPI) assess 3 dimensions of pain beliefs: (1) self-blame, (2) perception of pain as mysterious, and (3) beliefs about the duration of pain. These core pain beliefs were found to be predictive of subjective pain intensity, multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment compliance, poor self-esteem, somatization and psychological distress, and associated with attributions about health locus of control.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Williams, DA; Thorn, BE

Published Date

  • March 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 351 - 358

PubMed ID

  • 2710564

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2710564

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-6623

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3959

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0304-3959(89)90095-x


  • eng