The interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: An experimental investigation

D M L Van Ryckeghem, G Crombez, Christopher Eccleston, B Liefooghe, S Van Damme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Daily life is characterized by the need to stop, start, repeat, and switch between multiple tasks. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of pain, and its anticipation, in a multitask environment. Using a task-switching paradigm, participants repeated and switched between 3 tasks, of which 1 predicted the possible occurrence of pain. Half of the participants received low intensity pain (N = 30), and half high intensity pain (N = 30). Results showed that pain interferes with the performance of a simultaneous task, independent of the pain intensity. Furthermore, pain interferes with the performance on a subsequent task. These effects are stronger with high intensity pain than with low intensity pain. Finally, and of particular importance in this study, interference of pain on a subsequent task was larger when participants switched to another task than when participants repeated the same task. Perspective: This article is concerned with the interruptive effect of pain on people's task performance by using an adapted task-switching paradigm. This adapted paradigm may offer unique possibilities to investigate how pain interferes with task performance while people repeat and switch between multiple tasks in a multitask environment.
LanguageEnglish
Pages131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2 Feb 2012

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Pain
Task Performance and Analysis

Keywords

  • pain anticipation
  • pain
  • task interference
  • task switching
  • attention

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The interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: An experimental investigation. / Van Ryckeghem, D M L; Crombez, G; Eccleston, Christopher; Liefooghe, B; Van Damme, S.

In: Journal of Pain, Vol. 13, No. 2, 02.02.2012, p. 131-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Ryckeghem, DML, Crombez, G, Eccleston, C, Liefooghe, B & Van Damme, S 2012, 'The interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: An experimental investigation' Journal of Pain, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 131-138. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2011.09.003
Van Ryckeghem DML, Crombez G, Eccleston C, Liefooghe B, Van Damme S. The interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: An experimental investigation. Journal of Pain. 2012 Feb 2;13(2):131-138. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2011.09.003
Van Ryckeghem, D M L ; Crombez, G ; Eccleston, Christopher ; Liefooghe, B ; Van Damme, S. / The interruptive effect of pain in a multitask environment: An experimental investigation. In: Journal of Pain. 2012 ; Vol. 13, No. 2. pp. 131-138
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