The social context of gastrointestinal cancer pain: a preliminary study examining the relation of patient pain catastrophizing to patient perceptions of social support and caregiver stress and negative responses.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A number of studies have shown that catastrophizing is an important predictor of pain and disability in persons having persistent pain conditions. The newly developed communal model of catastrophizing maintains that catastrophizing is a part of broader, interpersonal style of coping in which coping efforts are directed at interpersonal goals, rather than solely at pain reduction. This study examined the potential interpersonal correlates of pain catastrophizing in a sample of 70 patients having gastrointestinal cancers and their caregivers. Measures of pain catastrophizing, perceptions of social support, pain level, and pain behavior were obtained from patients. Caregivers completed measures that included their judgments about the patient's pain level, caregiver stress, and their tendency to engage in negative responses (critical or avoidant behaviors). Overall, patients who engaged in catastrophizing reported receiving higher levels of instrumental support. Caregivers of patients who catastrophized, rated the patient as having more pain and engaging in more pain behavior. Caregivers of patients who catastrophized, also reported higher levels of caregiver stress and critical behaviors. Taken together, these preliminary findings suggest that pain catastrophizing has interpersonal correlates and support the need for additional research examining the social context of pain catastrophizing.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keefe, FJ; Lipkus, I; Lefebvre, JC; Hurwitz, H; Clipp, E; Smith, J; Porter, L

Published Date

  • May 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 151 - 156

PubMed ID

  • 12749969

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3959

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0304-3959(02)00447-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States