There is a range of anxiety-related constructs associated with pain and pain-related disability. Those most often examined are pain catastrophizing, pain anxiety and anxiety sensitivity. All three are conceptualized to be important in the development and maintenance of chronic pain, and are included within fear avoidance models. Surprisingly these constructs are not routinely examined together, and when they are, have been investigated in healthy individuals using experimental techniques or patients with chronic conditions. Although these constructs are also thought to be important in acute clinical pain, they tend not to been examined together in the same study. The focus of the current research was therefore to examine these three anxiety-related constructs in an acute pain setting, and examine their relative influence on both pain and pain-related functional disability. Participants were 82 patients with a hand fracture, recruited from a fracture clinic at a general hospital. They completed a battery of measures related to anxiety, pain and disability. Once controlling for injury-related variables, catastrophizing was found to predict current pain, pain-related anxiety predicted task-related pain, whereas anxiety sensitivity was (negatively) associated with disability. These findings are discussed in light of the relative role that these anxiety-related constructs have in pain and disability, as well as implications for future research.
- acute pain