Pain interrupts, distracts, and is difficult to disengage from. In this study, the role of pain-related fear in moderating attentional interference produced by chronic pain was investigated. Forty chronic pain patients completed a list of questionnaires assessing pain severity, pain-related fear (Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia), and negative affect (Negative Emotionality scale). Attentional interference was measured by a numerical interference test. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the attentional interference was best predicted by the interaction between pain severity and pain-related fear. These results are discussed in terms of how pain-related fear creates a hypervigilance to pain.
Crombez, G., Eccleston, C., Baeyens, F., van Houdenhove, B., & van den Broeck, A. (1999). Attention to chronic pain is dependent upon pain-related fear. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 47(5), 403-410. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3999(99)00046-X