An Investigation of the Mediating Role of Catastrophizing in the Relationship of High Neuroticism and Extraversion with Fear of Movement and Pain Intensity in Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Sufferers

Authors

1 Department of Psychology, School of Education and Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Education and Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

Abstract

Background & Aims: The current study aimed to investigate the role of catastrophizing as mediator variable in the relationship of neuroticism and extraversion with fear of movement and pain intensity in patients with musculoskeletal pain. Methods: This study was conducted on 200 subjects who were selected through purposive sampling from among the clients of Shohada, Emam Hossein, and Sina Hospitals in Tehran, Iran, and the Pain Clinic in Tabriz, Iran. The subjects completed the Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), and Visual analog scale (VAS). The data were analyzed using LISREL software through path analysis method. Results: Among the personality traits, neuroticism had a positive impact on catastrophizing, and thus, caused fear of movement and pain intensity in patients with chronic pain. However, extraversion and openness to experience with a negative impact on catastrophizing caused a reduction in fear of movement and pain intensity. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, neuroticism, through decreasing the pain threshold, causes catastrophizing and results in higher degrees of fear of movement and pain intensity. Nevertheless, extraversion (through increasing the pain threshold, and thus, decreases sensitivity to physical and sensory stimuli) and openness to experiences (due to high flexibility in the face of new experiences) have negative effects on catastrophizing.

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