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PainSolve Paper of the Month

April 2019 

PainSolve Editorial Team

The effect of implicit theories of pain on pain and disability in people with chronic low back pain

Summers SM, et al. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. 2019;40:65–71

In this paper Summers et al analysed how chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients’ lives were affected by how malleable they perceived their pain to be. They asked 102 CLBP patients to complete the Implicit Theory of Pain Scale survey, a measure of how patients perceive their pain, and then compared these results to each patient’s burden of pain scores.

The group found that CLBP patients who held a malleable or ‘incremental’ outlook on pain have a lower pain burden, compared to those with the less malleable ‘entity’ outlook. These findings regarding the implicit theories of pain, which are thought to be important socio-cognitive mechanisms, are convergent with previous findings. This study leads on to the question of: how will the relationship between implicit theories of pain and pain burden be impacted by treatment interventions?

   Click here to read to full paper.

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