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Pain catastrophizing in youths with physical disabilities and chronic pain


Engel JM, Wilson S, Tran ST, Jensen MP, Ciol MA



Publication Info:

Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38(2):192-201


OBJECTIVE: The current study examined the associations between catastrophizing and pain intensity, psychological adjustment, functional ability, and community participation in youths with physical disability and chronic pain.
METHODS: Participants consisted of 80 youths, aged 8-20 years, with cerebral palsy (n = 34), neuromuscular disease (n = 22), or spina bifida (n = 24). Measures from a cross-sectional survey included demographic, pain, and disability information, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, the Child Health Questionnaire, and the Functional Disability Inventory.
RESULTS: Results suggested that catastrophizing was significantly associated with pain intensity and psychological adjustment; however, catastrophizing did not demonstrate significant associations with functional ability or community participation.
CONCLUSIONS: The study extends previous findings of significant associations between catastrophizing and both pain intensity and psychological adjustment to samples of youths with chronic pain and disabilities not previously examined. Further research that examines the causal association between catastrophizing and outcomes in youths with chronic pain and physical disability is warranted.

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